World Bank to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts

The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers.

The multilateral lending agency is also pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries.

World Bank PresidentDavid Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank's board to have approved US$1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries by the end of  March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a US$12 billion World Bank programme, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers.

Mr. Malpass says the bank's International Finance Corporation, its private financing arm, has US$4 billion  to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed.

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