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Sanofi, GSK to Provide 200M Vaccine Doses to WHO COVAX Program

Wednesday, October 28, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline announced that they will provide 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the WHO’s COVAX program.

COVAX is a global group of governments, health groups, businesses, and nonprofits that are aiming to speed coronavirus vaccine research and manufacturing, plus ensure equitable distribution. Global health organizations including the GAVI vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the WHO are leading the COVAX effort, which is focused on first vaccinating the most high-risk people in every country.

In a statement said by Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, “Since we started working on the development of COVID-19 vaccines, GSK has pledged to make them available to people around the world this has the potential to be a significant contribution to the global fight against COVID-19.”

The WHO has previously acknowledged that there won’t be enough vaccine doses for everyone in the world once one candidate is authorized for use. The UN health agency has published allocation principles that countries can use to craft a plan for who would first receive the immunization when the country receives doses.

Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur, said their provision of doses demonstrates the company’s “commitment to global health and ensures our COVID-19 vaccines are affordable and accessible to those most at risk, everywhere in the world.”

Sanofi and GSK’s vaccine is further behind in clinical development than some of the front-runners, such as Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, which are all in late-stage trials.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has previously said he’s less concerned with acquiring doses of the first available vaccine and more concerned with acquiring a large number of doses of all vaccines.

“The first vaccine to be approved may not be the best. The more shots on goal we have, the higher the chances of having a very safe, very efficacious vaccine,” he said last month.