The agency said on Friday that Astrazeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development.
According to WHO’s chief scientist, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was also ‘not far behind’ Astrazeneca’s, among more than 200 candidates, 15 of which have entered clinical trials.
The WHO and its partners, including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), estimate that it will cost $18.1 billion to purchase and deliver the two billion doses of vaccine, which it will distribute to ‘at risk’ populations, typically consisting of health care workers, the elderly and those with chronic conditions.
Once acquired, the WHO will distribute half of its stockpile to low- or middle-income countries. It will additionally need a $950 commitment from high-income countries like the US and UK, which are negotiating their own deals with vaccine manufacturers.
It is difficult to predict which vaccine(s) will be successful. Indeed, the vast majority of vaccines in early development fail.
The probability of success for a vaccine in early stage development is less than 20 percent prior to Phase 2 clinical trial.
This means that the best chance of success for any country is to diversify and access a broad portfolio of vaccine candidates. This increases the chances of success and allows the vaccines that are successful to be.
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