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COVID-19 vaccine: Serum partners with Gavi, Gates Foundation to produce 100 million doses

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Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, has entered into a partnership with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to accelerate the manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

COVID-19 vaccine: Serum partners with Gavi, Gates Foundation to produce 100 million doses
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, has entered into a partnership with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to accelerate the manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, via its Strategic Investment Fund, will provide at-risk funding of $150 million to Gavi, which will be used to support the Serum Institute of India to manufacture potential vaccine candidates, and for future procurement of vaccines for low- and middle-income countries via Gavi’s COVAX AMC.
The funding will support at-risk manufacturing by SII for candidate vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax, which will be available for procurement if they are successful in attaining full licensure and WHO Prequalification.
SII has set an affordable ceiling price of $3 per dose. The arrangement also provides an option to secure additional doses if the vaccines pillar of the ACT Accelerator sees a need for it, the company said.
“The rampant spread of the virus has rendered the entire world in an unimaginable halt of uncertainty. And to ensure maximum immunization coverage and contain the pandemic, it is important to make sure that the most remote and poorest countries of the world have access to affordable cure and preventive measures. Through this association, we seek to ramp up our constant efforts to save the lives of millions of people from this dreadful disease," said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.
The Gavi COVAX AMC, which is currently seeking at least $2 billion in initial seed funding, will meet at least part of the cost of procurement for the vaccine doses.
Last week, the Gavi Board agreed the final list of 92 countries that will be supported by the AMC. Under the new collaboration, AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine, if successful, will be available to 57 Gavi-eligible countries. Novavax’s candidate, if successful, will be available to all 92 countries supported by the AMC
The deal builds on a Memorandum of Understanding between AstraZeneca and Gavi, announced in June, which will guarantee 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine to the wider COVAX Facility, to be supplied upon licensure or prequalification. These two deals can help guarantee access to early doses for the most vulnerable on a truly global scale.
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