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When and how will Covid-19 vaccines be available?

Britain on Wednesday became the first Western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, edging out the United States and Europe after its regulator cleared a shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use in one Record time. Pfizer, along with partner BioNTech SE and rival Moderna released test data showing their Covid-19 vaccines are around 95% effective in preventing disease, while AstraZeneca said last month its vaccine was in average about 70% effective. The companies said distribution could begin almost immediately after any approval is given, with governments around the world having to decide who gets them and in what order.

Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have already started manufacturing their vaccines, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be rolled out early next week in Britain. This year, Pfizer said it will have enough to vaccinate 25 million people, Moderna will have enough for 10 million people and AstraZeneca will have enough for more than 100 million people. The US Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will handle distribution in the United States, with some 20 million people expected to be vaccinated by the end of the year. Some 60 to 70 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine could be available per month from January and most Americans will have access to vaccines by mid-2021, the government said on Tuesday. In the European Union, it is up to each country in the bloc of 27 members to start distributing vaccines to their populations.

On clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the CDC said the first in line for vaccinations would be approximately 21 million healthcare workers and 3 million residents in long-term care facilities. . The FDA is due to meet on Dec. 10 to discuss whether to recommend the emergency use of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. Essential workers, a group of 87 million people who perform crucial tasks that cannot be done at home, are likely the next group. This includes firefighters, police, school workers, transportation workers, food and agriculture workers, and food service workers. Around 100 million adults with high-risk health conditions and 53 million adults over 65, also considered to be at higher risk of serious illness, are the next priority.

U.S. public health officials said the vaccines would be generally available to most Americans at drugstores, clinics and doctors’ offices from April so anyone who wants to get the shot can get one by now. the end of June. It is not known when a vaccine will be available for children.

Britain could begin the deployment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this month. The country had ordered 40 million doses – enough for just under a third of the population. Residents of older nursing homes and their caregivers will be the top priority to receive the vaccine, followed by those over 80 and frontline health workers. The European Union (EU), Japan, Canada and Australia all lead rapid vaccine regulatory processes. Italy expects to receive the first deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech shotgun and the AstraZeneca shotgun early next year. Spain plans to give vaccines in January. In Bulgaria, the country’s chief sanitary inspector expects the first shipments in March-April. Hungary’s Foreign Minister said the doses would arrive no earlier than spring. Germany, home to BioNTech, plans to roll out plans in early 2021 with mass vaccination centers in exhibition halls, airport terminals and concert halls.

COVAX, a program run by the World Health Organization and the GAVI immunization group to pool funds from wealthier countries and nonprofits to purchase and distribute vaccines to dozens of countries over poor, raised $ 2 billion. Its first objective is to vaccinate 3% of the inhabitants of these countries with the final objective of reaching 20%. He signed an interim agreement to purchase the vaccine from AstraZeneca, which does not require storage in specialized ultra-cold equipment like the Pfizer vaccine. It is expected, but not certain, that poorer countries in Africa and Southeast Asia, such as India, will receive vaccines at low cost or free as part of this program in 2021. D ‘ other countries, such as those in Latin America, can purchase vaccines through COVAX. Several of them also enter into supply agreements directly with drug manufacturers.

Vaccine manufacturers and governments have negotiated variable prices, not all of which are public. Governments have paid from a few dollars per injection of AstraZeneca up to $ 50 for the two-dose Pfizer regimen. Many countries have said they will cover the cost of vaccinating their residents.

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