Organization Announcements

Organization Announcements
Editor’s Note:
Careful readers will note that the number and range of organizations now monitored in our Announcements section below has grown as the impacts of the pandemic have spread across global economies, supply chains and programmatic activity of multilateral agencies and INGOs.


Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group [to 17 Apr 2021]
Your life history is written in your cells’ mutations
April 13, 2021
New study traces developmental history of the human body using small differences in DNA between each of our cells


BARDA – U.S. Department of HHS [to 17 Apr 2021]
No new digest content identified.


BMGF – Gates Foundation [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Releases and Statements
No new digest content identified.


Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute [to 17 Apr 2021]
The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is a non-profit biotech organization. Our mission is to develop products to fight malaria, tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases—three major causes of mortality, poverty, and inequality in developing countries. The world has unprecedented scientific tools at its disposal; now is the time to use them to save the lives of the world’s poorest people
No new digest content identified.


CARB-X [to 17 Apr 2021]
No new digest content identified.


Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy – GE2P2 Global Foundation [to 17 Apr 2021]
:: Past weekly editions of Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review are available here.


CEPI – Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations [to 17 Apr 2021]
Latest News
CEPI and the African Union join forces to boost African vaccine R&D and manufacturing
Oslo, Norway, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; April 13, 2021—The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the African Union Commission have today announced the signing of an memorandum of understanding, which aims to strengthen ties between the organisations and the Africa CDC—a specialised institution of the African Union responsible for the prevention and control of diseases in Africa—to enhance vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Africa.
This collaboration forms a major part of CEPI’s longer term epidemic and pandemic strategy, announced in March, 2021. As part of this strategy, CEPI aims to work with low-income and middle-income countries to develop the infrastructure and expertise to undertake the epidemiological and clinical studies needed to advance vaccine development, support technology transfer, and develop national and regional manufacturing capacity that will enable these countries to take full ownership of their national health security.
Scope of the collaboration
As part of the expanded relationship, CEPI, the African Union, the Africa CDC will work to:
> Strengthen pandemic and outbreak preparedness on the continent, building on key lessons from the COVID-19 and the procurement and distribution of vaccines through COVAX and African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT)—established and endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on 20th of August, 2020.
> Invest in vaccine R&D innovations to enable faster and easier production of vaccines in Africa
> Invest in capacity building and training to foster the development of local expertise needed to boost vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Africa
> Strengthen institutions that enhance enabling science need for vaccine development—for example, through investments in regional laboratory and research hubs across Africa
> Build partnerships that enable the sustainable expansion of vaccine manufacturing in Africa…


DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [to 17 Apr 2021
No new digest content identified.


Duke Global Health Innovation Center [to 17 Apr 2021]
FRIDAY, April 2, 2021


EDCTP [to 17 Apr 2021]
The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as well as other poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials
No new digest content identified.


Emory Vaccine Center [to 17 Apr 2021]
Vaccine Center News
No new digest content identified.


European Vaccine Initiative [to 17 Apr 2021]
Latest News
No new digest content identified.


FDA [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Announcements /Selected Details
April 16, 2021 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Revokes Emergency Use Authorization for Monoclonal Antibody Bamlanivimab

April 16, 2021 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: April 16, 2021

April 14, 2021 – FDA Provides Guidance on Remote Interactive Evaluations for Oversight of Drug Facilities During COVID-19

April 13, 2021 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: April 13, 2021
April 13, 2021 – Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine


Fondation Merieux [to 17 Apr 2021]
News, Events
No new digest content identified.


Gavi [to 17 Apr 2021]
News Releases
15 April 2021
Global leaders rally to accelerate access to COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income countries
[See COVAX above for detail]


GHIT Fund [to 17 Apr 2021]
GHIT was set up in 212 with the aim of developing new tools to tackle infectious diseases that
No new digest content identified.


Global Fund [to 17 Apr 2021]
News & Stories
Indonesia, Germany and Global Fund Sign New Debt Swap Agreement to Fight TB
14 April 2021
Germany, Indonesia, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today signed a new agreement that will increase support to tuberculosis programs in Indonesia. That will be achieved by converting €50 million of debt owed by Indonesia to Germany into investments in public health programs supported by the Global Fund in Indonesia.

New Global Fund Report Shows Massive Disruption to Health Care Caused by COVID-19 in Africa and Asia
13 April 2021
[See COVID 19 Impacts above for detail]


Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness [GloPID-R] [to 17 Apr 2021]
Funding opportunity: Four calls for research on coronavirus variants with €123 million earmarked for research and innovation
To address the growing threat of coronavirus variants, the European Commission has launched four calls for research to complement earlier actions…
Projects that receive funding are expected to:
:: establish multi-centre, regional or multinational cohorts, including beyond Europe’s borders;
:: further develop promising therapeutic or vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19;
:: strengthen research infrastructures to accelerate data sharing and research support.
The opening date is April 13, 2021 and the deadline for submissions is May 6, 2021.


Hilleman Laboratories [to 17 Apr 2021]
No new digest content identified.


Human Vaccines Project [to 17 Apr 2021]
No new digest content identified.
[Website not loading at inquiry]


IAVI [to 17 Apr 2021]
April 10, 2021
Media Roundup: News Coverage Highlights Preliminary Data from IAVI G001 Clinical Trial



International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities [ICMRA]
Selected Statements, Press Releases, Research
No new digest content identified.


ICRC [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected News Releases, Statements, Reports
Egypt: the ICRC’s COVID-19 response
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Egypt, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been in contact with relevant authorities as well its partner in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) co
14-04-2021 | Report



International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association [IGBA]
Press Releases/Announcements
The WHO Global Diabetes Compact: an opportunity for lasting change
13 April 2021 – The Global Diabetes Compact is a major new WHO initiative which will unite people working in diabetes prevention, treatment and care, including people living with the condition, around a common agenda.



Press Releases/Announcements
IFFIm Returns to Market with US$ 750 Million 5-year Oversubscribed Vaccine Bonds
14 Apr 2021
:: The issuance, IFFIm’s largest since 2006, will raise funding for Gavi’s core immunisation programmes and the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
:: The Vaccine Bonds are backed by pledges from 10 sovereign donors, including recent new commitments from the United Kingdom and Norway.
:: Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO: “No one in the world is safe from the threat of COVID-19 until everyone is safe.”


IFRC [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
Asia Pacific, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
Record COVID surge crashes into South Asia
Kuala Lumpur/Delhi, 16 April 2021 – A humanitarian calamity is engulfing South Asia as COVID-19 skyrockets across several countries setting new records, with more than 200,000 people infected per day.  South Asia is fast becoming the new global epicenter …
16 April 2021

Asia Pacific, Indonesia, Timor-Leste
Indonesia-Timor Leste: Race to contain COVID-19 after deadly floods
Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta/Dili, 13 April 2021 – Urgent measures are needed to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, while providing relief to thousands of people hit by record floods and mudslides that have claimed more than 200 lives, according to authorities in eas …
13 April 2021

Americas, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
People affected by La Soufrière’s eruption are in urgent need of hygiene items, water, and COVID-19 protection kits
Kingston / Panama City, 11 April 2021 — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is working alongside the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross (SVGRC) to provide humanitarian aid to the population affected …
11 April 2021


Institut Pasteur [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press release
Genetic admixture in the South Pacific: from Denisovans to the human immune response
Describing the genetic diversity of human populations is essential to improve our understanding of human diseases and their geographical distribution. However, the vast majority of genetic studies have been focused on populations of European ancestry, which represent only 16% of the global population. Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, Collège de France, and CNRS have looked at understudied human populations from the South Pacific, which are severely affected by a variety of diseases, including vector-borne infectious diseases such as Zika virus, dengue, and chikungunya, and metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Using genome sequencing of 320 individuals, the scientists have investigated how human populations have biologically adapted to the environments of the Pacific islands and how this has affected their current state of health. This study has also revealed hitherto unsuspected aspects of the history of human settlement in this region. This work is published in the April 14th, 2021 issue of Nature.


IRC International Rescue Committee [to 17 Apr 2021]
Media highlights [Selected]
No new digest content identified.


IVAC [to 17 Apr 2021]
Updates; Events
Communicating about Vaccine Safety: “Pausing” Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Use
April 2021
This statement was developed by Molly Sauer, MPH and Rupali Limaye, PhD, MPH On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, federal health agencies called for a “pause” in use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after ongoing safety monitoring identified a rare blood clotting disorder in six people who had received the vaccine. Talking about vaccines […]


IVI [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected IVI News, Announcements, Events
No new digest content identified.


JEE Alliance [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected News and Events
No new digest content identified.


Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security [to 17 Apr 2021]
Center News
No new digest content identified.


MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières [to 17 Apr 2021]
Latest [Selected Announcements
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
Failed COVID-19 response drives Brazil to humanitarian catastrophe
Press Release 15 Apr 2021  
:: After accounting for over a quarter of global COVID-19 deaths last week, Brazil does not have an effective plan in place to deal with the pandemic.
:: The pandemic in the country has become politicised, and the government has not adopted science-based measures to try to bring it under control.
:: MSF urges the Brazilian authorities to immediately convene a centralised and coordinated response to COVID-19.


National Academy of Medicine – USA [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected News/Programs
NAM Publishes Letter Urging the Biden Administration to Immediately Allocate a Portion of U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine Supply to Countries in Need
April 13, 2021
Washington, DC — The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has published a letter addressed to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Jeffrey Zients, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, urging the Biden administration to immediately allocate a portion of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine supply to countries in need.


National Vaccine Program Office – U.S. HHS [to 17 Apr 2021]
Upcoming Meetings/Latest Updates
No new digest content identified.


NIH [to 17 Apr 2021]
News Releases
Experimental antiviral for COVID-19 effective in hamster study
April 16, 2021 — MK-4482 shows potential to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.

NIH-funded COVID-19 testing initiative aims to safely return children to in-person school
April 15, 2021 — New RADx-UP research effort combines testing and safety measures in underserved populations.

NIH closes enrollment in trial comparing COVID-19 treatment regimens
April 15, 2021 — Head-to-head trial unlikely to show difference between regimens.

NIH funds new influenza research network
April 14, 2021 — Sites will study the natural history, transmission, and pathogenesis of influenza.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has established a network of research sites to study the natural history, transmission and pathogenesis of influenza and provide an international research infrastructure to address influenza outbreaks. The program, called the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Response (CEIRR), is expected to be supported for seven years by NIAID contracts to five institutions. Funding for the first year of the contracts will total approximately $24 million. CEIRR will replace the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) program, which was supported by contracts that concluded on March 31, 2021…

NIH trial of anti-CD14 antibody to treat COVID-19 respiratory disease begins
April 13, 2021 — The study will enroll between 300 and 350 hospitalized COVID-19 patients aged 18 years or older at 10 to 15 sites nationwide.

NIH experts discuss post-acute COVID-19
April 13, 2021 — Symptoms can be wide-ranging in severity and duration, and may affect numerous organ systems.


UN OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.


PATH [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.


Sabin Vaccine Institute [to 17 Apr 2021]
Statements and Press Releases
No new digest content identified.


UNAIDS [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected Press Releases/Reports/Statements
15 April 2021
Commission on Narcotic Drugs discusses how COVID-19 is impacting the world drug problem

14 April 2021
Former heads of state and Nobel laureates call on President Biden to waive intellectual property rules for COVID vaccines

12 April 2021
Wide range in access to HIV testing of babies in the Caribbean


UNDP United Nations Development Programme [to 17 Apr 2021]
Latest from News Centre
UNDP and GISD Alliance Launch ‘SDG Investor Platform’ to unlock trillions on SDG-Aligned Investment Globally
UNDP and GISD Alliance launched the ‘SDG Investor Platform,’ an innovative tool to facilitate private sector investments that contribute to furthering the Sustainable Development Goals.
Posted on April 14, 2021


UNESCO [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected Latest News
No new digest content identified.


UNHCR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected News Releases, Announcements
UNHCR’s Grandi and Pope Francis share a vision of global response to displacement based on solidarity and care
16 Apr 2021



Pakistan launches ‘drive’ to issue smartcards to registered Afghan refugees
15 Apr 2021



This Ramadan, UNHCR calls for solidarity with those hit hardest by the global pandemic
12 Apr 2021


UNICEF [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected Press Releases, Statements
Press release 04/12/2021
UNICEF providing humanitarian assistance to nearly 5,000 children affected by volcano eruption in Saint Vincent


Unitaid [to 17 Apr 2021]
Featured News
13 April 2021
Unitaid commemorates World Chagas Day with a new initiative to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the disease
:: Chagas disease affects between 6 and 7 million people worldwide and kills 10,000 people annually. In Latin America, it causes more deaths than any other parasitic disease including malaria. Patients infected with Chagas disease are at risk of severe COVID-19 manifestations.
:: At least two million women of child-bearing age are estimated to be chronically infected with Trypanosoma cruzi ( cruzi) and 5 to 10% of pregnant women with Chagas disease will transmit the infection to their new-borns.
:: On World Chagas Disease Day 2021 (14th of April), a new initiative co-financed by Unitaid and the Brazilian Ministry of Health aims to improve access to affordable diagnostics, better treatment, and comprehensive care for women and new-borns in four endemic countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, and Paraguay.


Vaccination Acceptance Research Network (VARN) [to 17 Apr 2021]
No new digest content identified.


Vaccine Confidence Project [to 17 Apr 2021]
News, Research and Reports
Coronavirus global impact
Launched April 2, 2020 and recurring every 3 days, Premise Data is utilizing its global network of Contributors to assess economic, social, and health sentiment surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19).
[Data arrays do noy seem to loading]


Vaccine Education Center – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia [to 17 Apr 2021]
No new digest content identified.


Wellcome Trust [to 17 Apr 2021]
News and reports
An expert explains how to track coronavirus variants
Sonia Gonçalves
15 April 2021


The Wistar Institute [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.


WFPHA: World Federation of Public Health Associations [to 17 Apr 2021]
Latest News
No new digest content identified.


World Bank [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected News, Announcements
World Bank to Provide US$70 Million for COVID-19 Vaccination in El Salvador and Honduras
The Additional Financing for COVID-19 Emergency Response Projects will enable the purchase of vaccines and support national vaccination plans. WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16, 2021 – The World Bank Board of…
Date: April 16, 2021 Type: Press Release

The Gambia Secures More Funds for COVID-19 Vaccines
BANJUL, The Gambia, April 16, 2021—Today, the World Bank Board approved $8 million additional financing from the International Development Association (IDA) to provide The Gambia with safe and effective…
Date: April 16, 2021 Type: Press Release

What is IDA?
What is IDA?  The International Development Association (IDA) is one of the largest and most effective platforms for fighting extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. IDA is the part…
Date: April 15, 2021 Type: Factsheet

World Bank Launches Early IDA20 Replenishment to Help Poorest Countries Recover from the COVID-19 Crisis
Early replenishment due to scaled up pandemic response  WASHINGTON, April 15, 2021—The World Bank launched an early twentieth replenishment process of the International Development Association (IDA)…
Date: April 15, 2021 Type: Press Release

Key Facts: World Bank Group Vaccine Announcement
COVID-19 vaccines, alongside widespread testing, improved treatment and strong health systems are critical to save lives and strengthen the global economic recovery. To provide relief for vulnerable populations…
Date: April 15, 2021 Type: Factsheet

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass at the Gavi “One World Protected” COVAX Advance Market Commitment Investment Opportunity Launch
Secretary Blinken, UN Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed, Dr. Barroso, Dr. Berkley, and Excellencies. I am pleased to be participating today. As a founding partner of Gavi, the World Bank Group is a key…
Date: April 15, 2021 Type: Speeches and Transcripts
[See Milestones above for detail]

Bangladesh Receives Over $1 Billion World Bank Financing for Vaccination and Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic
DHAKA, April 14, 2021 — The government of Bangladesh signed three financing agreements totaling $1.04 billion with the World Bank to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to build resilience to future crises…
Date: April 14, 2021 Type: Press Release

Bangladesh Receives Over $1 Billion World Bank Financing for Vaccination and Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic
DHAKA, April 14, 2021 — The government of Bangladesh signed three financing agreements totaling $1.04 billion with the World Bank to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to build resilience to future crises…
Date: April 14, 2021 Type: Press Release

Prioritizing the poorest and most vulnerable in West Africa: Togo’s Novissi platform for social protection uses machine learning, geospatial analytics, and mobile phone metadata for the pandemic response.
Challenge Togo has a population of 8.1 million (2019) and a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $679. Poverty had been declining prior to the pandemic. However, the pandemic — with  8,582 confirmed…
Date: April 13, 2021 Type: Result Brief


World Customs Organization – WCO [to 17 Apr 2021]
Latest News – Selected Items
16 April 2021
Workshops held to raise awareness of counterfeit COVID-19-related goods
…This series of workshops, organized under the WCO’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Health and Safety Programme, represents the Organization’s response to the challenge of ensuring the full preparedness of WCO Members for the safe and seamless distribution of time- and temperature-sensitive vaccines, as well as preventing organized criminal syndicates from exploiting the situation by flooding markets with dangerous, substandard or counterfeit vaccines.

15 April 2021
WCO Secretary General participates in WTO event on COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity

15 April 2021
Workshop organized by the COVID-19 Project supports the MENA region in facing disruptive events


World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.


WTO – World Trade Organisation [to 17 Apr 2021]
WTO News and Events
Chair Summary following “COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity: What Can the WTO Contribute?”
14 April 2021
Speech – DG Okonjo-Iweala provided this summary at the end of the event.
“…I believe that today’s exchanges have advanced our understanding of the challenges we face for scaling up vaccine production, and that working together is the only way ahead.

In the coming weeks and months, we expect concrete follow-up action. These issues are not easy, but the political will and engagement from the private sector displayed today, suggests it is possible.



As we move forward, I expect:
From WTO members:
:: Action to further reduce export restrictions and supply chain barriers, and to work with other organizations to facilitate logistics and customs procedures.  We are monitoring this as part of our regular work, and we’ll continue doing so to increase supplies and maintain robust supply chains. Trade has been underlined as a critical factor in production; it is incumbent upon WTO members to act.
:: Advance negotiations in the TRIPS Council on the waiver proposal and incentives for research and innovation. I hope that the ideas and the open dialogue heard will move us closer to agreement.



For vaccine manufacturers:
:: Concrete moves to scale up vaccine manufacturing, both short-term turnaround of existing capacities, milking whatever productivity gains we can from current facilities, and taking steps to invest.
:: Increased technology and knowhow transfer, which many participants stressed would be necessary to make additional production work.
:: We need transparency in contract agreements and product pricing. We hope to continue this dialogue and to help monitoring steps in that direction.



For international organisations and financial institutions:
:: We noted your willingness to finance, both existing and new capacity, your willingness to work on capacity building for regulatory issues, not just for vaccines, but also for therapeutics and diagnostics, which are equally important.

I trust that we have found a good basis to deliver concrete action, and to continue this discussion that we’ve had today…”



DG Okonjo-Iweala calls for follow-up action after WTO vaccine equity event
14 April 2021
Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala today (14 April) called on WTO members, vaccine manufacturers and international organizations to act to address trade-related obstacles to the scale-up of COVID-19 vaccine production to save lives, hasten the end of the pandemic and accelerate the global economic recovery.

DG Okonjo-Iweala: Equitable vaccine access key to sustained recovery for growth and trade
13 April 2021
In meetings in Washington, D.C. last week, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, made the case that equitable worldwide access to COVID-19 vaccines is necessary for economic growth and trade to bounce back from the pandemic, and that a reinvigorated multilateral trading system would strengthen both the health response and the economic recovery.





ARM [Alliance for Regenerative Medicine] [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Releases – Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.


BIO [to 17 Apr 2021]
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.


DCVMN – Developing Country Vaccine Manufacturers Network [to 17 Apr 2021]
News; Upcoming events
No new digest content identified.


ICBA – International Council of Biotechnology Associations [to 17 Apr 2021]
No new digest content identified.


IFPMA [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected Press Releases, Statements, Publications
IFPMA statement at WTO event “COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity: What can the WTO Contribute”
15 April 2021
On 14 April 2021, IFPMA and a number of its member company experts attended the WTO event “COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity: What can the WTO Contribute”.
The meeting was an opportunity to contribute to the WTO Director General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, expressed desire to find pragmatic outcomes to increase COVID-19 vaccine production. IFPMA and its member companies used their interventions to share their experience of the complexities in researching, developing, registering, manufacturing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines.

Thomas Cueni, Director General, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) made the following intervention.
“When I look back a year, we from the innovative biopharmaceutical industry had the deep sense of responsibility. Because we knew that this was the biggest public health challenge the world has faced since the Spanish Flu.
We knew [then] that the world was expecting that the industry would find the keys to open the doors, to get us out of the tunnel.
I think it is quite amazing how far we have come in a year. In record time, in [just] 326 days (which is more than three years faster than the fastest ever developed vaccine in the past), we have not just one, but many safe and highly effective vaccines.
At the same time, when we look at the impatience from all of us to get the vaccines to everybody – we know that no one is safe until everyone is safe – I think we tend to forget the daunting task of scaling up manufacturing. Pre-COVID-19 global vaccine capacity was 5 billion doses a year. Here, we talk about manufacturing 10 billion doses for COVID-19 vaccines alone, in 2021.
And it is not surprising that we have seen bumps and hitches along the road. Vaccine manufacturing is a complex biological process. Vaccine development is not [guaranteed] success. We have seen problems with scarcity of raw materials ingredients, and we have heard this afternoon about problems of export restrictions.
We are on track with the target of 10 billion doses. And we are on track because industry is doing what society and all of you would have expected us to be doing. Namely, engaging in unprecedented partnerships and in unprecedented technology transfers. I have counted 272 partnerships, which the industry has signed on COVID-19. More than 200 of them involving technology transfer.
As we have heard from colleagues from the innovative industry but also from the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN), this is not just about intellectual property.
:: It is about sharing know-how.
:: It is about building trust.
:: It is about joint training of skilled workers.
:: It is about providing access to trade secrets.
:: It is about building trust, that quality will be assured.
70% of vaccine manufacturing is about quality control and that is something which you cannot enforce. It is something, which to be honest, could even be jeopardized if you try to coerce it, because [technololgy transfer] is about two parties who build up trust with each other.
Now having said that:
:: we recently co-convened a roundtable with CEPI and Gavi, a roundtable to look at the challenges of [ahead].
:: we have seen many partners – Novartis, GSK, Sanofi, Novavax, Moderna working with others. I expect that we will see more. I expect that we will see more also in terms of partnership, building capacity
:: we are willing to sit down with our partners in COVAX to see what can be done in terms of supply chain visibility, in [reporting] export restrictions to accelerate trade – WTO will play an important role there.
We truly know that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”


PhRMA [to 17 Apr 2021]
Selected Press Releases, Statements
PhRMA Statement on FDA Guidance on Remote Interactive Evaluations for Oversight of Drug Manufacturing Facilities During COVID-19
April 15, 2021
…“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance on remote interactive evaluations is an important step from the Agency in describing actions it may take to evaluate and oversee manufacturing facilities and enable timely regulatory decision-making. The biopharmaceutical industry recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented novel challenges to FDA in its regulatory oversight of manufacturing facilities. We applaud the FDA for adapting to these unique challenges and taking steps to describe the ‘remote interactive evaluations’ the Agency may conduct to facilitate regulatory decision-making and ensure timely access to new, innovative treatments for patients…

Diversifying clinical trials and fighting disease requires equity and trust
April 12, 2021
…recent polls highlight COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy within Black communities. In fact, only one in four Black Americans (24%) plan to get the vaccine compared to other racial and ethnic groups, and Black Americans are significantly trailing in vaccination rates.
Contributing to vaccine skepticism are the significant systemic health disparities that Black Americans have faced for many years – disparities that the pandemic further exposed. Historic wrongs, such as the abuses of the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee and absence of consent in the Henrietta Lacks’ story have seeded mistrust and had a lasting effect on the Black community.
Recent opinion research conducted by PhRMA[1] provides greater insight into some of the factors that contribute to mistrust and stand in the way of ensuring Black Americans have the information they need to make health decisions. One of the issues rising to the top of this research is a clear need for more diverse clinical trials, which is critical to accurately represent the intended patient population and achieving health equity. Currently, only one in 10 Black voters (13%) have participated in a clinical trial or know someone who has participated in a clinical trial for new medicines or treatments…