COVID-19 vaccine scheme for low-income countries pushes for delivery slowdown
Leaders of the global scheme aiming to distribute COVID-19 vacacines in the world’s poorest are encouraging manufacturers, including Pfizer and Moderna, to cut or slow deliveries of roughly half a billion jabs, to ensure that doses are not wasted.
COVAX, the WHO-led scheme, is asking for between 400 and 600 million fewer vaccines doses than initially contracted from six major pharma companies, according to internal documents seen by Reuters. In total, COVA X has delivered over 1.5 billion doses in the last 18 months.
“COVA X has called for manufacturers to acknowledge the global oversupply situation, and support collective efforts to meet the timing of countries’ needs, and avoid unnecessary wastage,” said a spokesperson for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which runs the initiative alongside WHO.
“Being cognisant of local needs, we are seeking to provide pragmatic solutions to requests whenever possible,” Pfizer said in a statement. Novavax said the status of its
COVA X deliveries was currently ‘unclear’, while Moderna said it had nothing to add at this time.
66.3% of the world’s population has now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, but this proportion falls to 17.8% in lowincome countries, according to Our World in Data.
“What is critical for the global pandemic response now is not a high volume of doses, but tailored supply and support to lowerincome countries,” said Gavi.