Serum Institute to produce 100 mn more Covid- 19 vaccine for low, middle income countries
Serum Institute of India (SII), Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will accelerate the manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for India and low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) as part of the Gavi COVAX AMC, a mechanism within the COVAX Facility.
This brings the total number of vaccine doses to be covered by the partnership between SII, Gavi, and the Gates Foundation to 200 million doses, following the initial agreement for up to 100 million doses announced in August. The arrangement again provides an option to secure additional doses if the vaccines pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator sees a need for it.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, said, “We will now manufacture and deliver up to an additional 100 million doses of immunogenic and safe-proven future Covid-19 vaccines to India and low- and middle-income countries in 2021. At this stage, it is important for governments, global health and financial institutions in the public and private sector to come together in ensuring that no one is left behind in the road to recovery. This association is In line with our efforts to see that the future vaccines reach the remotest part of the world providing full immunization coverage in a bid to contain the spread of the pandemic.”
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. The Gavi Board has agreed upon the final list of 92 countries that will be supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC. Under the new collaboration, AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine, if successful, will be available to 61 Gavi-eligible countries. Novavax’s candidate, if successful, will be available to all 92 countries supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC. These countries align with SII’s licensing agreements with the two partners.
Under the COVAX umbrella, Gavi is coordinating the COVAX Facility, which provides governments with the opportunity to benefit from a large portfolio of COVID-19 candidate vaccines using a range of technology platforms, produced by more manufacturers across the world, with a bigger market to provide security of demand.
So far 73 higher-income economies have formally committed to joining the Facility, in addition to the 92 low- and middle-income economies that are eligible for support from the Gavi COVAX AMC.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, via its Strategic Investment Fund, will provide at-risk funding of a further $150 million to Gavi, bringing the total funding provided through this collaboration to $300 million. This will be used to support the Serum Institute of India to manufacture potential vaccine candidates, and for future procurement of vaccines for India and low- and middle-income countries via Gavi’s COVAX AMC.
The deal is additional to a Memorandum of Understanding between AstraZeneca and Gavi, announced in June, which will commit an additional 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 assure access to early doses for the most vulnerable on a truly global scale.
Source : itln