Which Countries Have Already Secured COVID Vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna?

With COVID-19 still raging across the world, some positive news emerged this month in the form of multiple promising vaccine candidates.

As the infectious respiratory disease continues to surge in the U.S., two pharmaceutical companies said they were the cusp of viable treatments that could be manufactured and ready to ship out by the end of the year, pending regulatory approvals.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on November 9 that their candidate, called BNT162b2, was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. On Monday, Moderna said its version, mRNA-1273, had an efficacy of 94.5 percent in a phase 3 clinical trial.

The march of progress continued today as Pfizer and BioNTech said their candidate was in fact 95 percent effective against COVID-19. Both candidates use messenger RNA (mRNA), boosting the body's immune response against the virus.

While doses of the vaccine candidates are forecast to be made before the end of 2020 the firms each said global rollouts are likely to take place next year. Demand is clearly high, and several wealthy nations already have their pre-orders in place.

In most cases the financial agreements and legal fineprint of the deals remain unknown, and it's likely that the list of nations bidding for doses is only going to increase. But here are the counties that we know have secured access to Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccine candidates so far, and how much they are likely to receive for citizens.

Moderna

By the end of this year, Moderna said it expected to have about 20 million doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine read to ship to the U.S. Officials said the company is "on track" to make between 500 million and one billion doses for the global markets in 2021.

America: It was announced on August 11 that the U.S. government secured 100 million doses of mRNA-1273 for a sum of $1.525 billion. Under the agreement, the U.S. would also have the option to obtain up to an additional 400 million doses.

Canada: According to Moderna, it remains on track to be able to deliver up to 56 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine into the country beginning in 2021. In September, the Canadian government confirmed an order commitment of 20 million doses.

United Kingdom: The U.K. government said it was able to secure access to five million doses of Moderna's mRNA-1273 candidate, which will be enough for about 2.5 million people. Pending safety checks, it could be delivered by Spring next year.

European Union: The European Commission said in August that it would be supplied with 80 million doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate from Moderna, with an option to aquire up to a further 80 million doses if proven safe and effective.

Switzerland: Moderna confirmed in September that the Swiss Federal Government had agreed to the procurement of 4.5 million vaccine doses of mRNA-1273.

Japan: Last month, on October 29, the pharmaceutical giant said the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan agreed to buy and distribute 50 million doses.

Middle East: Reuters reported in June the Israeli government had confirmed a supply agreement for a future purchase of the candidate. Financial details were unknown. On October 26, the company said a supply agreement was also made with Qatar.

Pfizer/BioNTech

The partnership between U.S. company Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech has resulted in one of the most promising candidates. Today, the firms reiterated they expect to make up to 50 million doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

America: An agreement revealed in July said the U.S. government was set to receive a total of 100 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate with an option of acquiring up to an additional 500 million doses. Under the terms, the U.S. would pay the companies a total of $1.95 billion upon the receipt of the first 100 million doses.

Pfizer/BioNTech said Monday that it was working with the government's Operation Warp Speed (OWS) to conduct an immunization pilot program in Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee that will help refine delivery and deployment plans.

United Kingdom: In July, Pfizer/BioNTech said an agreement was reached with the U.K. to supply 30 million doses of the BNT162 mRNA-based candidate. That appears to have since increased to 40 million doses, according to a U.K. government release.

Japan: On July 31, the companies said 120 million doses of the BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate would be supplied to Japan beginning in 2021. As with most deals, the agreement was subject to its clinical success and regulatory approvals.

Canada: Pfizer/BioNTech said in August an agreement with the government of Canada had been reached, but did not disclose financial or dosage information.

European Union: On November 11, the European Commission said it had approved a contract with BioNTech and Pfizer settled on an initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all the E.U. States, with an option to request up to a 100 million more.

Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in a press release on November 5 that Australia would be supplied with 10 million vaccine doses from Pfizer/BioNTech.


There are currently 12 vaccines in large-scale efficacy trials, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data from November 16 cited by The Guardian.

The newspaper reported this week that the results of a COVID vaccine candidate from the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are expected to be released imminently. The U.K. now appears to be betting big on that candidate specifically, with an agreement reached for the supply of 100 million doses.

Additional vaccine candidates are currently being tested globally by Novavax, CureVac, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Sinovac, Valneva and GSK/Sanofi Pasteur.

Government pre-ordering of vaccine candidates by wealthy nations has raised concerns that citizens of poorer countries will be left without treatment for longer.

Analysis released in September by Oxfam—based on data from the analytics company Airfinity—suggested rich nations representing 13 percent of the world's population had already obtained 51 percent of the promised doses of leading candidates.

The data showed the U.K. secured candidates equivalent to five doses per person. In comparison, Bangladesh had secured one dose for every nine people.

The research was cited by a United Nations human rights panel, which said states need to coordinate globally as there's a "risk that global competition... will increase the prices of medical supplies and of a potential vaccine which... will affect all countries."

The point was echoed this week by Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International's Head of Economic and Social Justice Programme, who urged a fair vaccination plan.

"Having sold most of its potential 2021 vaccine supply to rich countries Moderna must follow through on its promise to allow others to make the vaccine, and provide the knowledge... to do so once the vaccine has proven to be safe," he said.

Cockburn added in a statement: "Companies like Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have a responsibility to respect human rights, and they should play a leading role towards a global solution to COVID-19 by sharing and ensuring affordable prices. They must not act in a way that allows governments to hoard vaccines for a privileged few."

According to the journal Nature, the U.S. had secured 800 million doses of at least six vaccines in development as of mid-August. The U.K. followed, with 340 million purchased.

A WHO-backed initiative named COVAX is aiming to distribute vaccines regardless of a country's wealth status and aims to deliver two billion doses of safe vaccines by the end of next year—but it remains to be seen how effective the collaboration will be.

Covid-19 Vaccine
An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached, and syringes, with a flag of the United States, on November 17. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty