Science

WHO renews invite to countries, manufacturers to join COVAX facility

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 10, 2020

The global movement looks to accelerate the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing and renewing its invite to countries to join its COVAX facility, a global movement aimed at fast-pacing the development of vaccine against the coronavirus.

The facility was launched in April and the WHO is in talks with developers and manufacturers of the vaccine candidates that have the potential to successfully contain the virus, a newspaper report said.

The COVAX facility is now gathering funds to accelerate the development of promising vaccines and the quick ways to mass-produce them once they are successfully developed.

According to WHO’s initial estimates, the cost of research, development, manufacturing, and supplying vaccines stands at around $18.1 billion. The facility aims to produce about 2 billion doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021, especially for developing countries.

WHO, in its latest announcement, did not reveal how many countries have joined the movement. However, it had said in the statement released on July 15 that around 75 countries had shown their interest in joining the COVAX facility. They had also shown willingness to help the WHO raise funds for the vaccine.

The countries who will join hands with the WHO will have to assure the supply of the vaccines to other countries, if they succeed in developing one. The member countries will also get assured the supply of vaccines for at least 20 per cent of their populations.

According to a report in The Hindustan Times, the recent collaboration of the Serum Insitute of India and Gates Foundation also comes under the COVAX initiative of the WHO.

The Serum Institute has promised to provide its vaccine at under $3 per dose for people in India and also to 93 other countries with the help of the Gates Foundation.

Published on August 10, 2020

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