The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday that 28 pharmaceutical companies in 10 countries are ready to produce unprecedented quantities of vaccines over the next two years to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
This came during the organization’s announcement that it would help lead efforts to purchase and distribute vaccines.
UNICEF’s role comes within the framework of a plan to allocate vaccines for COVID-19 (known as Kovacs and co-led by the World Health Organization), which aims to purchase vaccines and provide equitable access to them. So far, 76 countries have committed to join the Kovacs plan.
UNICEF said that 28 vaccine manufacturers revealed annual production plans regarding Covid-19 vaccines until 2023. A UNICEF market assessment revealed that “manufacturing companies are ready to collectively produce unprecedented quantities of vaccines during the next year or two.”
However, the companies indicated that expectations “depend to a large extent on, among other things, the success of clinical trials, the conclusion of agreements for pre-purchase, confirmation of funding, and simplification of regulatory matters and registration methods.”
UNICEF’s new role in the Kovacs plan stems from its position as the largest single buyer of vaccines in the world.
The United Nations agency said it purchases more than two billion doses of vaccines annually for periodic vaccinations and combating disease outbreaks on behalf of nearly 100 countries.