WHO plans COVID-19 vaccine insurance scheme for 92 low-income countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to set up a compensation fund for citizens in poor countries, who might suffer side-effects from coronavirus vaccines, Reuters reported on Thursday. The scheme could cover 92 low-income countries.

According to a report by Reuters, the mechanism is meant to avoid a repetition of delays experienced a decade ago during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, when inoculations were slowed down in dozens of low-income countries because there was no clear liability.

As per the report, the scheme is being set up by the promoters of the COVAX vaccine facility, which is co-led by the WHO and GAVI, a global vaccine alliance. COVAX aims to distribute at least 2 billion effective shots around the world by the end of next year.

The COVID-19 vaccine insurance scheme could foot the bill for 92 low-income countries, which means that their governments would face little or no costs from claims brought by patients if anything goes unexpectedly wrong after a COVAX-distributed vaccine is administered.

Meanwhile, Drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to provide 200 million doses of their potential Covid-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility, a collaboration designed to give countries around the world equal access to coronavirus vaccines.

The Sanofi-GSK vaccine candidate is in early-stage trials, with results expected in early December. The drugmakers said Wednesday that they plan to begin the phase three trial by the end of the year and request regulatory approval of the vaccine in the first half of 2021.

The facility is part of COVAX, a coalition of governments, health organisations, businesses, and charities working to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines.

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