GAVI seeks political support for COVAX as bilateral vaccine deals grow

GENEVA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The COVAX vaccine facility hopes for political support for its multilateral scheme, as bilateral deals being cut by wealthier countries may mean “diminishing returns” given the limited doses, the head of the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Tuesday.

Seth Berkley, asked about possible European Union vaccine export bans, said that a global political consensus was needed. “Our hope is this will lead to consensus to keep vast majority of work done through multilateral mechanisms and not bilateral. We have no ability to stop those bilateral mechanisms.”

“We are struggling with the number of bilaterals going on,” he told a briefing for U.N. correspondents in Geneva.

Covax has two price points for the Astrazeneca vaccine, $3 and $4 a dose, depending on the country, he said.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Emma Farge