India has secured rights to buy coronavirus vaccines for a large portion of its population, states a study. India has pre-ordered 600 million doses. It is now in the process of negotiation for additional deals to pre-order 1 billion doses for the rest of the population. According to data compiled by Duke Global Health Innovation Center, most of the rich countries have already purchased 3.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines that are yet to be approved.
According to the study that looks at advance purchase agreements from around the world, around 5 billion doses are reserved or under negotiation.
India has vaccine deals with Serum Institute of India that is manufacturing doses of the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as well as the candidate by Novavax. Serum Institute is currently conducting trials for the Oxford vaccine in India.
Among the coronavirus vaccines under work, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine leads in advance market commitments. More than 2 billion doses have already been secured by high-income countries. The study alerted that with such numbers, few vaccine doses would be available for low income countries. Elina Urli Hodges, head of the Launch and Scale Speedometer initiative led by the Duke Global Health Innovation Center said that countries are betting by making direct deals and are also participating in multilateral platforms, which would drive inequality and threaten to prolong the global pandemic.
The study stated that it might take as long as at least five years to cover the global population because a few countries are hoarding doses through bilateral deals with companies. Not a single low-income country has made a direct agreement to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, the study shows. It stated that securing of coronavirus vaccines in such countries would be limited to the COVAX pact.
The COVAX facility, an initiative by the World Health Organisation, GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations has managed to secure vaccine doses for 250 people. It also aims to vaccinate over 20 per cent of the population in low-income countries.