Serum Institute of India (SII) is set to scale up the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines to an additional 100 million doses. The vaccines will be priced at a maximum of $3 per dose for India and lower, middle income countries in 2021.
The vaccine alliance Gavi will receive funding of another $150 million from the Gates Foundation, thus increasing the total funding under this collaboration to $300 million.
The arrangement 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. The collaboration will provide upfront capital to SII to help it increase manufacturing capacity now so that, once a vaccine, or vaccines, gains regulatory approval and WHO Prequalification, doses can be distributed at scale to LMICs as part of the Gavi COVAX AMC mechanism as early as the first half of 2021.
"The collaboration further bolsters our fight against Covid-19. Through the avid support of Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 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," said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.
He added, "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."
(With inputs from IANS)
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