Covid 19 Vaccine Agreement

Covid 19 Vaccine Agreement

Medical personnel transfer a covid-19 patient to a plane during a transfer from Lille-Lesquin airport in France [File: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters]In June, The European Investment Bank, the EU`s financial department, has granted BioNTech a loan of 100 million euros (US$118 million) for the development and production of its COVID-19 IFM, which was followed in September by a new funding of 375 million euros by the German Ministry of Research. “Today`s delivery agreement with the European Commission is the first order for vaccine doses for Pfizer and BioNTech and is an important step towards our common goal of making a Covid 19 vaccine available to vulnerable populations.” It is clear that a temporary waiver of the TRIPS agreement will not be a panacea for countries seeking access to life-saving vaccines. Anticipation is long and without the collaboration of leading pharmaceutical innovators, it is unlikely that competing generic manufacturers will be put into service immediately, even if they have access to patented drugs and technologies. “Until all necessary levels are completed and a vaccine is approved for use by the drug regulator, MHRA, the public must continue to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their loved ones, including respect for hands, faces, space councils and other public health boards in accordance with the area in which they live,” the government said in a statement yesterday. French drug maker Sanofi, which works with GlaxoSmithKline as a partner, has agreed with the EU to price around 10 euros ($11.8) per dose and has not been exempt from liability, while AstraZeneca would only pay claims up to a certain threshold if its vaccine goes wrong, against a price of 2.5 euros per dose, an official told Reuters in September. Prices agreed by the EU with vaccine manufacturers in previous stores were partially influenced by the conditions of liability, which could result in high additional legal costs if vaccinated people developed unexpected conditions as a result of the treatment. Opponents argue that the TRIPS agreement already has sufficient flexibility to enable countries to cope with the current crisis, and the removal of important safeguards for new innovations could hinder the development of much-needed treatments and vaccines. While the main objective of patents is to tackle a market failure – which results from a high cost of research and development – and to promote innovation – the situation is different this time. Australia has now lined up a total of 134 million doses out of four vaccine candidates, with today`s announcement following agreements reached in September with Oxford University/AstraZeneca (for 33.8 million doses) and the Australian University of Queensland /CSL (51 million doses). Bad side effects after a vaccine is approved are rare, but are considered more likely in an emergency because of the unprecedented speed at which vaccines are developed. Although Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have decided to license the production of their vaccines in other parts of the world, the scope of these licenses will be limited and many countries will be forced to negotiate their own purchase of the vaccine individually.

The use of these licenses would require many countries to negotiate with the pharmaceutical company on a drug basis, an approach that is both tedious and costly. Since developed countries have already provided much of the expected production of vaccines, countries that are not allowed to wait even longer for access to the vaccine may have to wait longer. Thursday`s agreement with major pharmacies, food market pharmacies and other chains and networks includes about 3 out of 5 pharmacies in the 50 U.S. states and territories like Puerto Rico. It foresees a period next spring when unauthorized vaccines will be available beyond priority groups such as health care workers and retirement home residents.


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