Pfizer-BioNTech pledge 2 bn doses to less wealthy nations
American pharmaceutical company
and German company BioNTech pledged on Friday to deliver 2 billion doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to middle-and low-income countries over the next 18 months, amid international calls for more vaccine solidarity. The companies, which together developed the first vaccine to be authorised for use in the US and Europe, made the announcement at a global health summit in Rome co-hosted by the European Union’s executive arm and Italy.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that they expect to provide a billion of the doses this year and another billion in 2022. It was unclear whether the deliveries would take place through the UN-backed COVAX programme, which aims to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 shots for low-and middle-income countries, or if countries would get the doses at a reduced price.
Bourla said his company last year adopted a three-tiered pricing policy guaranteeing that low-income countries get the shots at cost and to have middle-income nations pay about half the price wealthier nations are charged.