Pre-orders of Covid-19 vaccine top five billion | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:31 AM, August 13, 2020

Pre-orders of Covid-19 vaccine top five billion

Although none of the coronavirus vaccines under development has proved its efficacy yet in clinical trials, at least 5.7 billion doses have been pre-ordered around the world. Five vaccines -- three Western and two Chinese -- are in Phase 3 efficacy trials involving thousands of people.

As research laboratories around the world race to develop a vaccine, manufacturers have received financing to help them prepare to have millions of doses ready to administer in 2021 or even before the end of the year.

US: 700 million doses: President Donald Trump has launched "Operation Warp Speed" in a bid to develop, manufacture and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine to all Americans by January 2021. So far, Washington has handed out at a total of least 9.4 billion dollars to seven vaccine developers and signed manufacturing contracts with five of them to provide 700 million doses. The companies involved are: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford/AztraZeneca, Novavax, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sanofi/GSK, Merck Sharp and Dohme.

Europe: 700 million doses: Two vaccine developers -- Oxford/AztraZeneca and Sanofi/GSK -- have signed or are in advanced negotiations with the European Commission to provide a combined 700 million vaccine doses.

Britain, Japan, Brazil: Britain, because of Brexit, is negotiating a separate pre-order of 250 million doses from four developers. Japan is counting on 490 million doses from three suppliers including 250 million from Novavax of the United States. Brazil chose a similar model, ordering 100 million doses from AstraZeneca, and partnering with China's Sinovac to produce 120 millions of "CoronaVac," which is already undergoing testing with Brazilians.

China, Russia: China to procure its need from local sources: Sinovac and Sinopharm. Russia said 20 nations have pre-ordered one billion doses of Sputnik V.

Developing countries: The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), launched in 2017 by Norway, India, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, seeks to ensure that there is "equitable access" to future vaccines. It has pre-ordered 300 million doses from AstraZeneca for dozens of developing countries in a partnership with The Vaccine Alliance (Gavi). Billions of doses would be produced for Asia and elsewhere by the giant Serum Institute of India (SII), the largest vaccine producer in the world. Novavax and AstraZeneca have separately signed agreements with SII to produce a billion doses each for India and low- and middle-income countries.

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