Ghana has made an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for 2.4 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, licensed to Serum Institute of India (SII), according to the COVAX Facility indicative distribution plan.
The Plan made available by the British High Commission in Accra to the Ghana News Agency said the COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccines, had published an interim distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccines.
This would enable nations continue their preparations for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution by providing them with details of the type of vaccine each country would receive within the first quarter (Q1) and second quarter (Q2) of the year.
In line with initial guidance delivered on 22 January, and building on the publication of the 2021 COVAX global and regional supply forecast, the COVAX Facility shares the forecast on early availability of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to Facility participants (countries), subject to the caveats list.
The document contains information on indicative distribution of 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, licensed to Serum Institute of India (SII) – hereinafter “AZ/SII” and 96 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, under the advance purchase agreement between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and AstraZeneca – hereinafter “AZ”, for Q1 & Q2 2021.
It also contains an overview of exceptional first round allocation of 1.2 million doses of the WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL)-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – hereinafter “Pfizer-BioNTech”, for Q1 2021.
It is important to note additional doses of both these products will be available to the COVAX Facility in 2021.
With regards to Astrazeneca/Oxford Vaccine: Indicative Distribution, Q1 & Q2 2021, the publication said this indicative distribution was intended to provide interim guidance to Facility participants – offering a planning scenario to enable preparations for the final allocation of the number of doses each participant will receive in the first rounds of vaccine distribution.
It said nevertheless, COVAX partners believe the publication of this information, which had now been shared with all economies participating in the COVAX Facility, marks an important first step in providing governments and public health leaders with the information they need to put in place practical steps for the provision of early doses and a successful national roll out of vaccines.
“It is important to note that WHO EUL has not yet been granted for the AstraZeneca vaccine1– although evaluation processes are currently underway,” it said.
“Pending these final decisions, and based on current estimates of supply, the COVAX Facility has provided an indicative distribution for each Facility participant, covering Q1 and Q2 2021”.
It noted that the final allocation of the AstraZeneca vaccine(s) would be undertaken following process and governance outlined to and agreed upon by all Facility participants, and would be subject to the validation of the Independent Allocation of Vaccine Group (IAVG).
The publication said it was important to underscore that the indicative distribution was based on current communication of estimated availability from manufacturers.
Adding that in this regard, it was likely the distribution might need to be adjusted in light of circumstances that were difficult to anticipate and variables that were constantly evolving.
Concerning Pfizer-Biontech Vaccine: Exceptional First Round Distribution, Q1 2021, the publication indicated that COVAX currently anticipates 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be available to the COVAX Facility in Q1 2021, subject to the completion of additional agreements, and would be complemented by the larger volumes of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine available to the Facility during the same time period.
It said additional volumes of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be available in the second quarter and beyond, per the signed advance purchase agreement between Gavi and Pfizer-BioNTech for up to 40 million doses.
It noted that as a result, an exceptional process of distribution was undertaken to ensure maximum public health benefit from the smaller volume of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine anticipated to be available for Q1 delivery.
It said all future allocation rounds would follow the standard Facility approach.
The publication recalled that on 6 January, COVAX offered the opportunity to all Facility participants who had not already opted-out of this product to express their interest in accessing an initial limited volume of the ultra-cold chain vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech.
It said as of the deadline of 18 January, the Facility had received 72 submissions (36 Advance Market Commitment participants and 36 self-financing participants).