Two pharmaceutical giants, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), will provide 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility for further dissemination. The drugmakers said that COVAX’s activity aimed at giving nations equal access to their potential antivirus vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sanofi-GSK is in its early-stage trials, with results expected in seven weeks. On Wednesday, the pharma giants said they plan to begin phase three trial by the 2020 end. The next step is to request regulatory approval of the vaccine in the first half of 2021.
The head of Sanofi’s vaccine unit stressed the importance of the partnership amid a pandemic of a global scale. “The commitment we are announcing today for the COVAX Facility can help us together stand a better chance of bringing the pandemic under control,” Thomas Triomphe said.
COVAX to guarantee equal access to anti-COVID vaccine
As of mid-October, almost 44 million people have been confirmed to be infected with coronavirus worldwide. The death toll reached 1.16 million, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
COVAX, a coalition of governments, health organizations, businesses and NGOs working to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines, according to Associated Press.
Meantime, Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota expert on infectious diseases who warned over the summer of a fall surge, said what’s happening now is a confluence of three aspects:
- “pandemic fatigue” among people who are wary of hunkering down and are venturing out more;
- “pandemic anger” among those are don’t believe the scourge is a real threat; and
- cold weather, when any virus can spread more easily.