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Vaccine alliance raises $2 billion to buy Covid-19 shots for poor nations

Berkley said $3 billion was still needed for diagnostics and $6.1 billion for therapeutics by the end of 2021

Covid-19 coronavirus

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech expressed an interest in supplying doses to the COVAX facility

Reuters LONDON/GENEVA
By Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay
LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) - A facility set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine group has exceeded an interim target of raising more than $2 billion to buy and distribute COVID-19 shots for poorer countries, but said it still needs more.
The GAVI alliance said on Friday that the funds for an advance market commitment (AMC) will allow the COVAX facility to buy an initial one billion vaccine doses for 92 eligible countries which would not otherwise be able to afford them.
"We've seen sovereign and private donors from across the world dig deep and help meet this target," GAVI chief Seth Berkley told reporters, adding that there was an "urgent need" to also finance treatments and diagnostics.
Berkley said $3 billion was still needed for diagnostics and $6.1 billion for therapeutics by the end of 2021.
Another $5 billion will also be needed in 2021 to procure COVID-19 vaccine doses as they come through development and are approved by regulators, GAVI said in a statement.
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, who this week said their experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective in initial trials, had expressed an interest in supplying doses to the COVAX facility, Berkley said.
"We continue to advance negotiations with a number of manufacturers in addition to those we've already announced who share our vision of fair and equitable distribution of vaccines," he added.
 
(Corrects date to 2021, paragraph 4)
 
(Reporting by Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by Alexander Smith)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Nov 13 2020 | 5:35 PM IST

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