First batches of COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available for people around the world as COVAX publishes first interim distribution forecast

The first batches of COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available for most people around the world. The first doses, to come from AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, will be shipped at the end of February or early March.

On Wednesday, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization, as co-leads of the COVAX initiative for equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, alongside key delivery partner UNICEF, published COVAX’s first interim distribution forecast.

The interim distribution forecast provides information on early projected availability of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Q1 2021 and the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine candidate in first half 2021 to COVAX Facility participants.

The document contains information on indicative distribution of 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, licensed to Serum Institute of India (SII) – hereinafter “AZ/SII” and 96 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, under the advance purchase agreement between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and AstraZeneca – hereinafter “AZ”, for Q1 & Q2 2021. 

It also contains an overview of exceptional first round allocation of 1.2 million doses of the WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL)-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – hereinafter “Pfizer-BioNTech”, for Q1 2021. It is important to note additional doses of both these products will be available to the COVAX Facility in 2021.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the announcement of the signed advance purchase agreement with Pfizer/BioNTech and a little more than a month after the first COVID-19 vaccine received WHO EU approval.

“The purpose of sharing the interim distribution with countries, even in today’s highly dynamic global supply environment, is to provide governments and health systems with the information they need to plan for their national vaccination programs. Final allocations will be published in due course,” COVAX said in statement.

The interim distribution forecast outlines projected delivery of vaccine doses to all Facility participants, with the exception of participants who have either exercised their rights to opt-out, have not submitted vaccine requests, or have not yet been allocated doses.

This is a breaking news that will be updated.

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