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COVID-19 epidemic: COVAX has a new vaccine supply

Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: THX/VNA

The GAVI statement read: “These agreements were entered into in light of the fact that the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is posing an increasing risk to health systems. The agreement will begin with the immediate provision of 110 million doses of vaccine to members of the COVAX mechanism, and possibly more.”

Under the newly signed agreement, Sinopharm will supply 170 million doses of vaccine and Sinovac will supply 380 million doses of vaccine to COVAX, until mid-2022. Sinovac will supply 50 million doses between now and September, while Sinopharm will provide 60 million doses by the end of October.

GAVI chief Seth Berkley welcomed the agreements, allowing COVAX to add two more vaccines to its portfolio, along with vaccines from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.

COVAX is a mechanism created by the World Health Organization (WHO), GAVI, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to distribute vaccines to poor countries. However, this mechanism is struggling to fulfill its initial commitments due to disruptions in supply from India, in the context that the country stopped exporting vaccines to deal with domestic epidemics, causing many countries to have to discontinue vaccination programs in the early stages.

To date, COVAX has provided 102 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 135 countries, much lower than the target set at the beginning of the year. Not only that, while 70% of the population in developed countries has received 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the rate in low-income countries is less than 1%.

However, GAVI said that COVAX is expected to be able to provide 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by early 2022, including 1.8 billion doses for the world’s 92 poorest countries.

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