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Business News/ News / World/  WHO in talks with Pfizer, Moderna on affordable Covid-19 vaccines
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WHO in talks with Pfizer, Moderna on affordable Covid-19 vaccines

WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward said that he saw a 'strong commitment' on the part of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to set prices at levels appropriate to poorer populations

Yahaira Alicea, left, a respiratory therapist who treated the first two Covid-19 patients hospitalised in Puerto Rico, receives a vaccine. (AP)Premium
Yahaira Alicea, left, a respiratory therapist who treated the first two Covid-19 patients hospitalised in Puerto Rico, receives a vaccine. (AP)

The World Health Organisation is in talks with American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and US biotechnology company Moderna on whether their coronavirus vaccines can be a part of the early roll-out of COVAX at prices that are appropriate to the poorer populations.

A WHO senior official told news agency Reuters that the global health body was in talks with both the agencies to include its coronavirus vaccine as part of an early global rollout.

WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward said that he saw a "strong commitment" on the part of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to set prices at levels appropriate to poorer populations. The WHO senior adviser expected some news on more manufacturers joining the list of providers to the COVAX vaccine facility in the coming weeks.

On the Serum Institute of India, Bruce Aylward said the SII may need to be a bigger part of the COVAX facility as it will be a crucial part of the equation for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Aylward said that the body was looking at new financial instruments to help fill a $28 billion finance gap for Covid-19 tools, saying financing was proving a "real challenge".

"Its a real challenge in today's fiscal environment despite the fact that this is the best deal in town," Aylward told Geneva-based journalists. "This will pay itself off in 36 hours once we get trade and travel moving again," he added.

A joint initiative of WHO, the Gavi Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), COVAX was founded to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccine.

COVAX was founded under the WHO's Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator so developing nations are not left behind in the international bidding war for working Covid-19 vaccines.

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Published: 15 Dec 2020, 05:01 PM IST
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