Africa's First Human Trials for COVID-19 Vaccine Start in South Africa

WHO aims to deliver 2 BILLION doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2021

The money would go to the Access to coronavirus Tools Accelerator, or ACT-Accelerator, a global association began in April to speed up growth, production, and reasonable access to coronavirus tests, treatments, and vaccines.

The UN-run health organisation might require funding of up to $18.1 billion to deliver two billion doses by the end of 2021.

Members work across four pillars: diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and what they call "the health system connector".

World Health Organization said some USD3.4 billion have been paid to date, resulting in a funding gap of USD27.9 billion, of which USD13.7 billion of the remaining gap is immediately needed.

A report by the Indian Express citing World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that AstraZeneca has more scope given their plans and vaccine trials.

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"It's clear that to bring COVID-19 under control and to save lives, we need effective vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics - in unprecedented quantities and at unprecedented speed", said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the event.

She also noted, "We do know that Moderna's vaccine is also going to go into phase three clinical trials, probably from the middle of July", referring to the US-based biotechnology company.

To address this obstacle, Covax is aimed at pooling financial and scientific resources, making it possible to hedge the risk of backing an unsuccessful candidate, and ensuring that lower-income countries receive equal access to successful vaccines.

Brazil announced on Saturday that it had signed an agreement worth 127 million US dollars to start producing locally an experimental vaccine developed by AstraZeneca that has shown promise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. AstraZeneca has the largest global commitment and was the leading candidate in terms of timing. If the vaccine works, they are planning to to make some 300 million doses of the vaccine available in the USA before the end of the year and 2 billion doses available in other countries by early next year.

Witty said: "We've got very active research programs - coming from China and we're seeing similar being spun up in India".

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