Nestle Plans to Help Distributing Vaccines in Covid-19 Fight
(Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, plans to help distribute Covid-19 vaccines to communities, especially in developing countries, once shots become more readily available.
The maker of KitKat chocolate and Nespresso coffee could help with the financing or logistics of the rollout, Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider said.
“The problem now is scaling up,” Schneider said at a business forum organized by the Swiss newspaper Le Temps Tuesday. “We’re very open-minded: we’ll try to find ways to either sponsor the payment for the vaccine or sponsor the way it gets applied in communities where we’re present.”
Nestle is well-placed to help as the consumer-goods giant sells its products in 187 countries. Drugmakers have been stepping up to accelerate the production of vaccines as governments push for more capacity to ease the crisis. Bayer AG agreed to produce CureVac NV’s experimental shots, while Sanofi and Novartis AG are putting their manufacturing capacities behind scaling up Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s injection.
More than 100 million doses have been administered worldwide, according to the latest data tracked by Bloomberg. But countries have experienced unequal access to vaccines and varying degrees of efficiency in getting shots into people’s arms. Most nations haven’t given any shots yet.
Nestle partnered with the International Federation of the Red Cross early in the pandemic to donate money, food, bottled water and medical-nutrition products to most-affected countries.
Specifics of how Nestle will contribute to the global vaccine rollout still need to be hammered out, Schneider said.
“A lot of this is still work in process as the most important ingredient isn’t there, and that’s the vaccine itself,” Schneider said.
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