WHO Aims at Creating 2Bn COVID-19 Vaccine Doses by 2021

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and its alliance partners including the vaccine alliance, Gavi, said that the goal is to create 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses by 2021.

Participating in a session of the Covax facility, India supplies vaccines that cater to 60 per cent of the world’s needs. He asked WHO to mention fast-track mechanisms which will help in accelerating the vaccine trials as countries are racing against time.

It may be noted that the Covax facility, launched by Gavi earlier in June, is a financial platform for Covid-19 vaccine development. The facility effectively serves as an insurance policy that will increase chances of developing successful COVID-19 vaccine doses, even if some fail.

It also assures that there will be enough doses to go around, initially to protect some of the highest-risk groups, including those that would otherwise be unable to afford it—particularly poor and developing countries.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said, “WHO is working on fast-tracking the process by aligning closely with vaccine developers, explaining evaluation criteria and harmonising regulatory requirements for clinical trials.”

Dr Swaminathan said in most countries where studies have been done to assess the prevalence of the coronavirus, it has been witnessed that a very small proportion of the population has actually developed antibodies against the virus.

“It is therefore imperative that a vaccine is made against SARS-CoV-2,” she said.

The goal as stated by Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI, a vaccine alliance, is to create 2 billion doses of vaccine by 2021. Creation of these doses would need an investment of at least US$18 billion till 2021.

The first priority would be healthcare workers which would comprise somewhere about 3 per cent of each country‘s population. The second tranche of the vaccine distribution will focus on 20 per cent of each country‘s population, which would comprise more vulnerable people.

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