Pfizer requirements causing delays in COVAX deliveries: GAVI

FILE PHOTO: Vials of Pfizer's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen at a pop-up community vaccination center at the Gateway World Christian Center in Valley Stream, New York, U.S., February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

GENEVA (Reuters) - The head of the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Tuesday that there have been delays to some Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 shot deliveries via the COVAX vaccine-sharing programme because of additional requirements set by the manufacturer.

Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI alliance that co-leads the COVAX multilateral vaccine facility with the World Health Organization (WHO), told journalists the requirements were partly related to indemnification issues.

At the same briefing, WHO adviser Bruce Aylward said it was still possible for COVID-19 vaccine rollouts to all participating countries to begin in the first 100 days of 2021 assuming that manufacturers can keep up with orders.

Reporting by Emma Farge, Stephanie Nebehay and Kate Kelland