WHO says donor contributions have secured nearly 2 billion vaccines

WHO says donor contributions have secured nearly 2 billion vaccines

12:55 - The World Health Organization said on Friday that donor contributions have secured nearly 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines for the first half of 2021.

The agreements give all 190 countries participating in its Covax facility access to coronavirus vaccines in the first half next year, WHO said in a statement. The first deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

WHO signed an advanced purchase agreement for 170 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine and a memorandum of understanding with Johnson & Johnson for 500 million doses of its vaccine.

COVAX has already signed agreements with the Serum Institute of India for 200 million doses of either AstraZeneca or Novavax’s vaccine candidates, with options for up to 900 million more doses. It has also signed a statement of intent for 200 million doses of Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine candidate.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement that the vaccines are “giving all of us a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel,” adding that the pandemic will only end “if we end it everywhere at the same time.”

“It’s essential to vaccinate some people in all countries, rather than all people in some countries.”

The announcement comes one day after the United Nation’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that COVAX was facing a $5 billion gap in funding through the end of January and $20 billion funding gap globally.

He also said that richer countries were buying more vaccines than “several times the volume of their populations.”

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