Jan 23, 2021 - Health

Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries

Photo of a health care worker preparing a vaccine injection
Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech will supply 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to COVAX, the global effort aimed at ensuring that every country has access to COVID-19 vaccines, the drug makers and World Health Organization announced Friday.

Why it matters: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned earlier this week that the world is "on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure" due to unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

Details: Pfizer will provide the vaccine through the COVAX program at a "not-for-profit price."

  • Financial terms of the agreement have not been released, but the WHO said Friday that "rollout will commence with the successful negotiation and execution of supply agreements."
  • Delivery of first doses is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

The big picture: COVAX is led by the WHO, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

What they're saying: "The urgent and equitable roll-out of vaccines is not just a moral imperative, it is also a strategic and economic imperative," Tedros said in a statement Friday.

  • "This agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech will enable COVAX to save lives, stabilize health systems and drive the global economic recovery."

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