Countries stake billions of dollars to lock up vaccine doses

August 12, 2020 0 By FM

Wealthier countries are already pouring in billions of dollars hoping to build manufacturing ability even before a vaccine is developed. 

The US has recently inked a nearly $2 billion contract with Pfizer and BioNTech, a German biotech firm, for 100 million doses by December as part of efforts to lock up the coronavirus vaccine. The investment, a part of Warp Speed Project, aims to cut short manufacturing and distribution timelines. The Trump administration has also invested $483 million on Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotech company. In all, the US has invested in more than a half dozen such efforts. 

The US government also plans to pay $1.6 billion to Novavax, a Maryland-based company, to expedite the development of its vaccine candidate. 

Across the pool, the British government has given £65 million to accelerate the development of vaccines and secure 30 million doses for the UK by September as a part of a programme to manufacture 100 million vaccines in total, with some reserved for developing countries.

Germany recently took a 23 percent stake in CureVac, a local company, marking a trend as vaccine developers increasingly become the most sought-after targets in the pandemic era. 

Europe raised $8 billion in pledges from governments, philanthropists and leaders for coronavirus vaccine research as of May.