No experimental vaccine has proven its effectiveness against the new coronavirus in successful clinical trials, but at least 5.7 billion doses have already been pre-purchased worldwide, with the first shipments of Western groups often having been preempted by United States of Donald Trump.
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Five vaccines (three Westerners and two Chinese) are in phase 3 of tests with thousands of people, and Russia affirmed Tuesday to the general surprise that its candidate baptized “Sputnik V” (v as vaccine) would be administered as of September to the personnel medical, before the conclusion of clinical trials.
Several vaccine developers have been subsidized to start manufacturing the doses in parallel with the trials, in order to be ready to deliver millions of doses in 2021, or even as early as October and the end of 2020.
Oxford University, associated with Swedish-British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca, is hoping for results as early as September, while American biotech Moderna, associated with the American Institutes of Health (NIH), aims for the end of the year, perhaps November.
United States: 700 million doses
Donald Trump’s government was the first to award hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to vaccine developers, with nearly half a billion awarded to Johnson & Johnson as of March 30.
Operation “Warp Speed” explicitly aims to get enough to vaccinate all Americans from January 2021. Washington has put its eggs in the largest number of baskets compared to other countries, betting on multiple technologies in the hope that ‘at least one of them provides immunity.
To date, Washington has spent at least $ 9.4 billion to seven vaccine developers, and signed supply contracts with five of them for at least 700 million doses.
US-funded companies or alliances: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford / AztraZeneca, Novavax, Pfizer / BioNTech, Sanofi / GSK, Merck Sharp and Dohme (in the US).
Europe: 700 million doses
Two developers (Oxford / AztraZeneca and Sanofi / GSK) have signed or are in advanced negotiations with the European Commission to deliver up to 700 million doses of vaccine between them.
The Commission told AFP that it is negotiating “at the moment very intensively with several vaccine developers”.
Note that the “active substance” of the possible AstraZeneca vaccine will be produced by the French company Novasep in Belgium.
United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil
The United Kingdom, Brexit obliges, is negotiating separately and has already ordered 250 million doses from four developers.
Japan has secured 490 million doses from three suppliers, including 250 million from the American company Novavax. The Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda has acquired the rights to the Novavax vaccine for the archipelago, which is subsidizing the operation. This vaccine will therefore be produced locally.
This is also the model chosen by Brazil: in addition to an order for 100 million doses from AstraZeneca, the country has a partnership with the Chinese Sinovac to manufacture on site up to 120 million doses of its “CoronaVac”, currently being tested. on Brazilians.
China is well advanced in the clinical trials of two candidates (Sinovac, Sinopharm), but only a few international partnerships have been announced, including with Brazil and a possible one with Indonesia.
Russia, for its part, announced that 20 unidentified countries had pre-ordered one billion doses of its Sputnik V vaccine, and that with the help of foreign partners, production capacities were already at 500 million doses. per year in five countries.
Developing countries: 2.4 billion doses
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi), launched in 2017 by Norway, India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, wants to ensure equitable access to future vaccines.
It has already invested $ 890 million to accelerate the development of nine projects, again with a view to diversifying risks.
It has pre-purchased 300 million doses from AstraZeneca for dozens of developing countries, with the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi).
To supply Asia and the world, billions of doses would have to leave the factories of the giant Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest producer of vaccines (polio, measles …).
Novavax and AstraZeneca have separately signed licensing agreements with the SII for the production of one billion doses each for India and developing countries … Provided, as always, that they demonstrate efficacy during trials clinics.