Pfizer to supply 40 million COVID-19 shots for poor countries / REUTERS

Pfizer on Friday committed to supply up to 40 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year to a World Health Organization-backed effort to get affordable shots to poor and middle-income countries.

The deal is a boost to the global program known as COVAX, as wealthy nations have snapped up most of the millions of coming shots, the Associated Press reported.

Pfizer's 40 million doses – for a vaccine requiring two doses – are a tiny sliver of what's needed for COVAX, which aims to vaccinate billions of people in 92 low- and middle-income countries.

Read alsoWHO chief elaborates on COVAX Facility"Today, we are proud to have this opportunity to provide doses that will support COVAX efforts toward vaccinating healthcare workers at high risk of exposure in developing countries and other vulnerable… populations," Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they would also help health systems handle the vaccine, which requires ultracold storage.

Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech said they would provide their vaccine to COVAX at an undisclosed "not-for-profit price." The companies still must execute a supply agreement covering distribution, but the doses are to be delivered throughout 2021, starting in February.

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