BEIJING, March 25 (Reuters) – Chinese company CanSino Biologics Inc (CanSinoBIO) has offered to provide “tens of millions of doses” of its COVID-19 single-dose vaccine to the global COVAX vaccine sharing program, a senior executive said of the society.
China has four locally developed COVID-19 vaccines approved for public use and earlier pledged to provide 10 million doses to COVAX without specifying the delivery time. CanSinoBIO, Sinovac Biotech Ltd and China National Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd (Sinopharm) have applied to join the initiative.
Pierre Morgon, senior vice president of CanSinoBIO, said the company offered in December to provide vaccines between the end of 2021 and the end of 2022.
“We are happy to go beyond 2022 if there was still a wait to do so,” he told Reuters in an interview, adding that he had made his offer at an average US dollar single digit per dose.
“I can’t tell you the exact number, but I can tell you it’s very competitively priced,” Morgon said.
The offer at COVAX, which is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), is the lowest price of the “tiered pricing mechanism” that CanSinoBIO uses in markets outside of China, where richer countries are subject to higher prices.
There is a difference of more than three times between the highest price offer and the lowest price offer, Morgon said.
Its vaccine, developed jointly with the Chinese Military Research Institute, is approved for use in China, Pakistan, Hungary and Mexico.
The three Chinese vaccine makers are still waiting to decide whether they can be included in the WHO emergency use list, a prerequisite for joining COVAX. (Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Christopher Cushing)
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