Covax had to renegotiate its contracts with four vaccine suppliers to cut them by 400-600 million doses. Four hundred million doses from Pfizer that came as a donation from the US government have been converted to future options available in 2023.
“We haven’t had a significant buyback,” Dr. Berkeley said, adding that he expects demand from countries that continue to try to introduce a primary or booster dose will largely match the doses that Gavi has in stock. .
“During a pandemic, I would rather err on the side of buying too many doses rather than on the side of not enough doses, especially given the fact that in the beginning countries felt there weren’t enough doses,” he said. “If you want to get doses early on, you have to go ahead and place orders even if you don’t know if they will work, which is a risk. You must take the risk.”
The Gavi Secretariat is suggesting to board members that the organization maintain a $1.8 billion pool that will allow new doses to be purchased as needed through 2025 and to support delivery of vaccines.
Dr. Berkeley said the “pandemic preparedness pool” is meant to act as insurance against another situation where Gavi needs to procure vaccines for developing countries (for example, against a new variant of Covid) and has to compete with the deep pockets of richer countries. .
Some board members expressed concern that the organization would rely on these funds.
“We just want to make sure the money isn’t used until we have a lot more conversations about where we want to put the funds,” one board member said. “Right now, we don’t have a manual for managing this fund. The important thing is that we don’t want them to use these funds to expand their mandate.”
Dr. Orin Levine, an epidemiologist who represented the Gates Foundation on Gavi’s board until September 2021, said Covax’s fate was sealed by mid-2021. fundamental vice for us as a global community,” he said. “We have not been able to get any rich country to slow down their individual vaccination schedule to help other people start getting their first shots.”