NEW YORK: UNICEF announced the signing of an agreement with Pfizer on behalf of the COVAX Facility for the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine through 2021.
Deliveries of the vaccine are anticipated to start as early as the first quarter of 2021, once the countries that were allocated Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses in the COVAX allocation confirm that they are in full compliance with all of the requirements established by Pfizer/BioNTech and the COVAX Facility.
The goal of the COVAX Facility is to provide the world with the best chance at making safe, efficacious COVID-19 vaccines available and affordable to all countries world-wide regardless of income level. This supply agreement allows UNICEF to procure doses out of the up to 40 million doses that have been secured under the COVAX Facility’s Advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with Pfizer/BioNTech to be available throughout 2021.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which was the first to receive WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on 31 December 2020, requires ultra-cold chain storage. UNICEF has been working around the clock with partners to support governments to ensure the cold chain facilities are in place to store and distribute a variety of COVID-19 vaccines with different cold chain requirements.
The agreement is the second long-term supply agreement UNICEF has signed with a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer on behalf of the COVAX Facility. Just last week, UNICEF signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to access two vaccines through technology transfer from AstraZeneca and Novavax, subject to the approval of the vaccine by WHO.
The COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF, aims to provide at least 2 billion doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, enabling participating economies to protect frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups.