‘It’s a tipping point’: Flood of COVID-19 vaccine donations buoys mood at WHO

Vaccines are a weapon for the world to defeat the new crown pneumonia epidemic. The more people can complete the vaccination sooner, the better it will be for countries to quickly control the epidemic and avoid the spread of the virus on a large scale.

According to a Bloomberg report on the 3rd, the number of global vaccination doses has reached 2 billion doses, and it took more than 6 months to achieve this milestone. The 75% vaccination rate is the threshold for achieving herd immunity. At the current rate, it will take about 9 months to vaccinate 75% of the world’s population.

As of June 19, Oxford University’s Our World in Data statistics have reported a total of 2625200905 doses of the new crown virus vaccine worldwide, with an inoculation rate of 21.67%. Efforts to create a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine worldwide are bearing fruit. Currently, nearly 20 vaccines have been approved worldwide; many more are still in development.

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More doses coming

The main reason COVAX has missed its target so far is that it had little money last year to purchase vaccines, and it relied heavily on the Serum Institute of India to supply doses until more companies offered proven products at discount prices. But Serum stopped exporting promised doses in March, when COVID-19 cases in India exploded. That surge has now peaked, and the company has ramped up its production from some 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine per month to 100 million doses this month. Capacity may reach 250 million doses monthly by the end of the year, the company tells Science. COVAX leaders hope the company may resume exports as soon as September.

Novavax, which just reported that its vaccine had 90% efficacy in a major trial funded by the U.S. government, has joined forces with Serum as well. Together, the companies could bring 1.1 billion doses to COVAX in 2022 that could start going into arms this fall if the Novavax jab passes muster with regulators. Biological E, another Indian manufacturer, plans to provide COVAX with 200 million doses of the already authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which should begin coming off production lines in September.

The vaccines produced by the Pfizer-BioNTech collaboration and Moderna may play a bigger role in COVAX than expected, too. These companies make vaccines with messenger RNA, which requires subzero temperatures during transport and then can only stay fresh in regular refrigerators for a month. Conventional wisdom long held that those requirements, along with the vaccines’ high price tags, meant they couldn’t be used in much of the world. But on 10 June, the U.S. government—which has given COVAX $2 billion—announced it would donate 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to COVAX this year and another 300 million by June 2022, with the UPS Foundation donating freezers to countries that need help with storage. (It’s unclear whether this donation may be in lieu of the U.S. government’s pledge to give COVAX an additional $2 billion.) Moderna cut a deal with COVAX to sell up to 500 million doses of its vaccine by the end of 2022.

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