Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
In this episode of Talks at GS, Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, discusses the progress made on the path to a COVID-19 vaccine, the logistics and challenges of distribution, and the strategy behind who receives the first doses.
On meeting the target vaccine production goal: “I believe we can get to not just 2 billion, but perhaps more than that for the COVAX facility, in addition to the many billions that are already in production for the countries that have done bilateral deals. And so I think we're going to see this extraordinary movement. We'll start seeing vaccines scale up at the beginning of the year… The really big scale up will occur probably in the second half of 2021 when maybe another five or six vaccines are going to be entering the pipeline.”
On vaccine allocation: “The challenge, if you look at the way countries have been affected, [is that] the devastation of the health system had been the major problem initially, and that was not only health workers getting sick, but also the elderly and people at risk getting sick. And so one of the things we talked about in rolling out the vaccine is to try to cover those groups. So, the first thing we believe ought to happen is to vaccinate all the health workers across the world. So, they're ready to take care of sick people and they're not transmitting infection. The next part, of course, then is to go to the high risk groups and begin to vaccinate them. We came up with a number of 20% on average. If you could do that, you would dampen down dramatically the effects of the disease. And, of course, it would have an epidemiologic effect as well.”