The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has released the findings of a survey designed to determine the available global manufacturing capacity for any COVID-19 vaccine.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is a Norway-based partnership between public, private, philanthropic and non-government organisations that was launched at Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics and pandemics.
The organisation is chaired by Jane Halton AO PSM who led the Department of Health for 12 years until 2014 and the Department of Finance until her retirement from the Australian Public Service in 2016.
CEPI has played a leading role in identifying and supporting investigative vaccines, including one in development at the University of Queensland (UQ).
Seven of the nice vaccines it has supported have entered clinical trials, including UQ's and those in development by Moderna, Novavax, AstraZeneca and The University of Oxford.
It also recently called for proposals on expanding the capacity to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.
The organisation's survey received responses from 113 manufacturers from over 30 countries.
CEPI said the survey results show there is the potential global capacity to produce at least 2-4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine through the end of 2021.
"This finding is important for CEPI’s wider COVID-19 response because – in collaboration with Gavi and WHO – we aim to distribute 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021 through a programme called COVAX," said the organisation in a statement.
It said the 2-4 billion doses can be delivered without displacing other vaccine manufacturing activities. Yet it is unclear what proportion of that 2-4 billion in doses has already been secured by countries.
According to CEPI, "Combining the expertise and experience of CEPI, Gavi, WHO and industry, we aim to produce 2 billion doses of vaccine and distribute them according to an equitable allocation formula in 2021."
A combination of nine countries and regions have announced 23 advance supply deals with companies for investigative COVID-19 vaccines, equating to around 3 billion doses.
Some of the leading candidates supported by CEPI's COVAX initiative are also covered by these supply agreements.