Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Situation report – 201
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
8 August 2020
Confirmed cases :: 19 187 943 [week ago: 17 396 943]
Confirmed deaths :: 716 075 [week ago: 635 173]
:: WHO has published guidance on the public health surveillance of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This document combines and supersedes the Global surveillance guidance for COVID-19 caused by human infection with COVID-19 virus: Interim guidance, and Surveillance strategies for COVID-19 human infection: Interim Guidance 10 May 2020.
:: A plane carrying 20 tonnes of trauma and surgical supplies from WHO has landed in Beirut, Lebanon to support the treatment of patients injured by the blast which occurred in the city on 4 August. This latest emergency has occurred at a time of recent civil unrest, economic crisis, the COVID-19 outbreak and heavy refugee burden. “We are in this together, and we are committed to supporting Lebanon in this very difficult time” said Dr Najat Rochdi, UN Resident Coordinator in Lebanon…
COVID-19 Vaccines – Access/Procurement/Supply
Up to 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to be made available for low- and middle-income countries as early as 2021
:: New landmark collaboration between the Serum Institute of India (SII), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of future safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries in 2021
:: Vaccines will be priced at maximum US$ 3 per dose and made available to up to 92 countries included in Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC)
:: Dr Seth Berkley: New collaboration will help “ensure we have additional manufacturing capacity to begin producing doses for every country, not just the wealthy few”
Geneva, 7 August 2020 – A new landmark collaboration between SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will accelerate the manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as part of the Gavi COVAX AMC, a mechanism within the COVAX Facility.
The collaboration will provide upfront capital to SII to help them increase manufacturing capacity now so that, once a vaccine, or vaccines, gains regulatory approval and WHO Prequalification, doses can be produced at scale for distribution to LMIC countries as part of the Gavi COVAX AMC mechanism as early as the first half of 2021.
“Too many times we’ve seen the most vulnerable countries left at the back of the queue when it comes to new treatments, new diagnostics and new vaccines,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “With COVID-19 vaccines we want things to be different. If only the wealthiest countries in the world are protected, then international trade, commerce and society as a whole will continue to be hit hard as the pandemic continues to rage across the globe. This new collaboration is an important step in our efforts to prevent this from happening, helping to ensure we have additional manufacturing capacity to begin producing doses for every country, not just the wealthy few. We now need other vaccine manufacturers to step up and follow SII’s lead.”
The funding will help de-risk manufacturing by SII for candidate vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax, which will be available for procurement if they are successful in attaining full licensure and WHO Prequalification. SII has set a ceiling price of US$ 3 per dose, a price enabled by investments made by partners such as CEPI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The arrangement also provides an option to secure additional doses if the vaccines pillar of the ACT Accelerator sees a need for it.
“In an attempt to make our fight against COVID-19 stronger and all-embracing; SII has partnered with Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of future COVID vaccines for low and middle income countries in 2021,” said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India. “The rampant spread of the virus has rendered the entire world in an unimaginable halt of uncertainty. And to ensure maximum immunization coverage and contain the pandemic, it is important to make sure that the most remote and poorest countries of the world have access to affordable cure and preventive measures. Through this association, we seek to ramp up our constant efforts to save the lives of millions of people from this dreadful disease.”
The Gavi COVAX AMC, which is currently seeking at least US$ 2 billion in initial seed funding, will meet at least part of the cost of procurement for the vaccine doses. Last week the Gavi Board agreed upon the final list of 92 countries that will be supported by the AMC. Under the new collaboration, AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine, if successful, will be available to 57 Gavi-eligible countries. Novavax’s candidate, if successful, will be available to all 92 countries supported by the AMC. These countries align with SII’s licensing agreements with the two partners.