UN to create global coronavirus fund

The purpose of the fund is to assist developing countries with weak health systems in addressing the crisis as well as to tackle the long-term consequences. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 March 2020

UN to create global coronavirus fund

  • The purpose of the fund is to assist developing countries with weak health systems
  • A formal announcement could be made later this week

OSLO: The United Nations will create a fund to support the treatment of coronavirus patients worldwide, Norway’s foreign ministry said on Monday.
“A multi-donor fund under UN auspices will provide predictability for our partners and help to make the efforts more effective,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.
The purpose of the fund is to assist developing countries with weak health systems in addressing the crisis as well as to tackle the long-term consequences, the ministry added.
A formal announcement could be made later this week, it said.
Almost 340,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and more than 14,500 have died, with deaths in Italy surpassing the toll in China, where the outbreak began, according to a Reuters tally.


US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

Updated 57 sec ago

US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

  • The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J
  • This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country

WASHINGTON: The United States government will pay Johnson & Johnson over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, its latest such arrangement as the race to tame the pandemic intensifies, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.
It said it would deliver the vaccine to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on a not-for-profit basis to be used after approval or emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
J&J has already received $1 billion in funding from the US government — BARDA agreed in March to provide that money for the company to build manufacturing capacity for more than 1 billion doses of the experimental vaccine.
The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J. Including the first $1 billion deal with the USgovernment, the price would be slightly higher than the $19.50 per dose that the United States is paying for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and German biotech BioNTech SE.
The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses under a subsequent agreement. J&J did not disclose that deal’s value.
J&J plans to study a one- or two-dose regimen of the vaccine in parallel later this year. A single-shot regimen could allow more people to be vaccinated with the same number of doses and would sidestep issues around getting people to come back for their second dose.
This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country. Talks are underway with the European Union, but no deal has yet been reached.
J&J’s investigational vaccine is currently being tested on healthy volunteers in the United States and Belgium in an early-stage study.
There are currently no approved vaccines for COVID-19. More than 20 are in clinical trials.