The coronavirus vaccine produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca will be available on a non-profit basis “in perpetuity” to low- and middle-income countries in the developing world.
The details of arrangements to supply poorer countries came as AstraZeneca revealed the interim results of a phase 3 trial of the vaccine, which is being heralded as the first to meet the more challenging requirements of the developing world.
Unlike the two vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which require ultra-cold storage, the AstraZeneca vaccine can be kept in the kind of conventional fridge used to store vaccines around the world, with a shelf life of up to six months.
Also unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine is already a part of Covax, the global initiative that is hoping to distribute about 2bn doses to 92 low- and middle-income countries at a maximum cost of $3 a dose.
“A key element of Oxford’s partnership with AstraZeneca is the joint commitment to provide the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis for the duration of the pandemic across the world, and in perpetuity to low- and middle-income countries,” it said.
As part of the initiative, AstraZeneca announced during the summer it would make 1.3bn doses of its then untried vaccine available at cost to ensure that any vaccine was not hoarded by the world’s wealthiest countries.
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