Geneva, Switzerland | Xinhua | The CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said on Tuesday that they hope to deliver 145 to 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the first quarter of 2021 and 500 million doses in the second quarter, and then 1.5 billion in the second half of the year.
In his remarks at the World Economic Forum 2021, Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, said that obviously there’s a little bit of a global vaccine panic right now as so many countries want doses. But it’ll probably take eight to ten weeks from the first dose of vaccine till doses are distributed in many developing countries, which is extraordinary compared to historical timelines.
Berkley again stressed the importance of equitable distribution of the vaccines, which was the reason behind the formation of COVAX, the global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, Gavi has estimated that more than 800 million doses and another 1.4 billion doses in options are above what would be required to vaccinate people.
For that reason, Gavi has not only welcomed donations of COVID-19 vaccines, also seeks to buy them or to take a spot in a manufacturing queue to make them available equitably.
Hopefully, there is a whole range of new manufacturers of the vaccines, and in the next week or two, two other major manufacturers after Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are expected to unblind their clinical trials, according to Berkely, who is hopeful that they will have positive results as well.
As for the initial vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, Berkley believes that they were quite expensive and produced in relatively small quantities to start, in addition to some issues in terms of their cold chain requirement, which makes them not the preferred doses to use globally.
“We want second generation’s vaccines that are more temperature stable, that are single-dose but of course, for the new variants; we may need to ultimately make some changes in vaccine so keep that R&D going,” he added.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 64 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by WHO on Jan. 22.