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Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have pledged 200M vaccine doses in support of the World Health Organization’s immunization program.,
Pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline reported on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement with Bill and Melinda Gates’ global vaccine project, Gavi. The said deal is a non-binding one, which states that Gavi will be acquiring 200M doses of one vaccine candidate currently being developed. Gavi is also the legal administrator of the COVAX Facility.
According to Forbes, the COVAX initiative is a joint procurement scheme that aims to provide equitable COVID-19 vaccine access and delivery worldwide. The alliance is led by the World Health Organization, Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
The said initiative aims to make available 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of next year. At least 180 countries have joined the alliance, including 78 higher-income countries, including China and the United Kingdom.
“Since we started working on the development of COVID-19 vaccines, GSK has pledged to make them available to people around the world… This has the potential to be a significant contribution to the global fight against COVID-19.”Roger Connor, GSK Vaccines president
In the past months, the WHO acknowledged that the vaccine doses available wouldn’t be enough for everyone globally once one is authorized for use. Through the COVAX initiative, the WHO aims to deliver vaccine doses enough for 20% of a country’s population.
“To address a global health crisis of this magnitude, it takes unique partnerships. The commitment we are announcing today for the COVAX Facility can help us together stand a better chance of bringing the pandemic under control. This moment also reflects our long-term commitment to global health and ensures our COVID-19 vaccines are affordable and accessible to those most at risk, everywhere in the world.”Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur
Both Sanofi and GSK have started their Phase ½ in early September. A total of 440 subjects have enrolled and will be receiving results in December of this year. The Phase ½ initiative was conducted to start the pivotal Phase 3 study before 2020 ends.
In September, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the priority is to acquire many doses of all vaccines rather than acquire the available quantities of the first available one.
“The first vaccine to be approved may not be the best… The more shots on goal we have, the higher the chances of having a very safe, very efficacious vaccine.”WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus