Rich nations have cornered half of future COVID-19 vaccine supply: Oxfam
A laboratory technicians handles vials as part of filling and packaging tests for the large-scale production and supply of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, conducted on a high-performance aseptic vial filling line on September 11, 2020 at the Italian biologics’ manufacturing facility of multinational corporation Catalent in Anagni, southeast of Rome, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. Catalent Biologics’ manufacturing facility in Anagni, Italy will serve as the launch facility for the large-scale production and supply of the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, providing large-scale vial filling and packaging to British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
AFP/Vincenzo PINTO
Rich nations have cornered half of future COVID-19 vaccine supply: Oxfam
(Agence France-Presse) - September 17, 2020 - 8:10am

WASHINGTON, United States — A group of wealthy nations representing 13 percent of the global population have already bought up more than half of the promised doses of future Covid-19 vaccines, according to a report by Oxfam on Wednesday.

The non-governmental organization analyzed deals struck by pharmaceuticals and vaccine producers for the five leading vaccine candidates currently in late-stage trials, based on data collected by the analytics company Airfinity.

"Access to a life-saving vaccine shouldn't depend on where you live or how much money you have," said Robert Silverman of Oxfam America. 

"The development and approval of a safe and effective vaccine is crucial, but equally important is making sure the vaccines are available and affordable to everyone. Covid-19 anywhere is Covid-19 everywhere."

The five vaccines analyzed were from AstraZeneca, Gamaleya/Sputnik, Moderna, Pfizer and Sinovac.

Oxfam calculated the combined production capacity of these five vaccine candidates at 5.9 billion doses, enough for three billion people given that all five future vaccines will or are highly likely to require two doses. 

Supply deals have so far been agreed for 5.3 billion doses, of which 2.7 billion (51 percent) have been bought by developed countries, territories and regions, including the US, UK, European Union, Australia, Hong Kong and Macau, Japan, Switzerland and Israel. 

The remaining 2.6 billion doses have been bought by or promised to developing countries including India, Bangladesh, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, among others.

The non-profit added that one of the leading candidates, developed by Moderna, has received $2.5 billion in committed taxpayers' money, but has said it intends to make a profit and has sold the options for all its supply to rich nations.

Oxfam and other organizations are therefore calling for a "people's vaccine" free of charge, distributed fairly based on need. 

"This will only be possible if pharmaceutical corporations allow vaccines to be produced as widely as possible by freely sharing their knowledge free of patents, instead of protecting their monopolies and selling to the highest bidder," Oxfam said.

It added that the estimated cost of providing a vaccine for everyone on Earth was less than one percent of the projected cost of Covid-19 to the global economy. 

ASTRAZENECA COVID-19 VACCINE MODERNA NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OXFAM PFIZER SINOVAC SPUTNIK
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 16, 2020 - 10:40am

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK said on July 29, 2020, that they have agreed to supply Britain with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement covers a vaccine candidate developed by France's Sanofi in partnership with the UK's GSK and is subject to a "final contract."

This thread collects some of the major developments in the search for a vaccine to ease the new coronavirus pandemic. (Main photo by AFP/Joel Saget)

September 16, 2020 - 10:40am

President Donald Trump says that a coronavirus vaccine may be available within a month -- an acceleration of even his own surprisingly optimistic predictions -- but added that the pandemic could go away by itself.

"We're very close to having a vaccine," he tells a town hall question-and-answer session with voters in Pennsylvania aired on ABC News.

"We're within weeks of getting it you know -- could be three weeks, four weeks," he says. — AFP

September 15, 2020 - 7:11pm

A China-developed coronavirus vaccine could be ready for the public as early as November, a Chinese official has told state television, as the global race to clear the final round of trials heats up.

Chinese manufacturers have been bullish about development, with companies Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm even putting their vaccine candidates on display at a trade fair in Beijing this month.

Representatives of the firms told AFP that they hope their vaccines will be approved after phase 3 trials as early as year-end.

And on late Monday, the chief biosafety expert at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control told state broadcaster CCTV that a vaccine would be available to the general public "around November or December."

Wu Guizhen did not specify which vaccine she was referring to, but said "based on the phase 3 clinical results, the current progress is very smooth." — AFP

September 10, 2020 - 7:59pm

Drugs giant AstraZeneca says a COVID-19 vaccine could still be available by as early as the end of this year, despite a randomized clinical trial in the UK being paused.

"We could still have a vaccine by the end of this year, early next year," the company's chief executive Pascal Soriot says, adding it depended on how fast regulators moved. — AFP

September 9, 2020 - 6:17pm

EU reserves 200 million more coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer.

September 9, 2020 - 7:44am

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca says it has "voluntarily paused" a randomized clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine in what it called a routine action after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.

"As part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee," a spokesperson says in a statement. — AFP

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