The World Health Organization (WHO) and vital partners revealed their plans to the public yesterday on a planned purchase of 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the most vulnerable people around the world, in a report released by Wall Street Journal.
The plan predicts that by the end of 2021, COVID-19 doses could be delivered to nations, and there is a need to prioritize vaccinating high-risk persons, including people over the age of 65, health care personals, and other adults who suffer from conditions like diabetes.
World Health Organization and its key partners that include Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) approximate that about $18.1 billion will be needed to execute the plan.
The effort is one mission statement of the World Health Organization’s effort in ensuring that all countries have access to therapeutics, diagnostics, and COVID-19 vaccines.
Countries that can afford to get the vaccines directly are using the direct purchase agreements with various drug manufacturers around the world and are even willing to pay upfront for the cost of making a vaccine before it has been shown to be successful. This is to ensure that they are first in line for the vaccines, which could be detrimental for developing countries that can’t afford direct purchase agreements.
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“It’s risky for them to do that and it’s also not ethically the right approach, because it leaves the rest of the world without vaccine doses,” said Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist.
Vaccines are difficult to make and historically, more vaccine projects fail than succeed. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi said: “about 7% of vaccines make it through preclinical development, and maybe 15% to 20% that enter the clinic is successful.”