Washington, January 23: United States-based pharma company Pfizer on Friday announced that it would provide up to 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to poorer countries. Pfizer will provide the vaccine to these countries on a non-profit base, reported global news agency AFP. It will be provided through Covax, a globally-pooled facility for fighting coronavirus. Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Effective Against New Coronavirus Variant Found in Britain and South Africa: Study.

The first delivery of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will reportedly be shipped in February. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are leading Covax. "We are proud to have this opportunity to provide doses that will support Covax's efforts towards vaccinating health care workers at high risk of exposure in developing countries, and other vulnerable populations," reported the global news agency quoting Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla as saying.

Notably, the Covax was set up last year so that 20 percent most vulnerable people in participating countries should get vaccines against the deadly virus. Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine is also approved by the WHO. Meanwhile, Gavi chief confirmed that 150 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine were ready to be shipped though Covax. Spain Discarding Thousands of Pfizer Vaccine Doses for Lack of Right Syringes.

Earlier this week, the WHO had warned of "catastrophic moral failure" because of unequal Covid-19 vaccine policies." WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was not fair for younger, healthy people in richer nations to get injections before vulnerable people in poorer states, the BBC reported. He said over 39 million vaccine doses had been given in 49 richer states - but one poor nation had only 25 doses.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 23, 2021 02:59 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).