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The Serum Institute of India will receive upfront capital to expand manufacturing capacity, pending vaccine approval, to ensure distribution.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), a vaccine manufacturer, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a public-private partnership dedicated to the vaccination of children, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on Sept. 29, 2020 that they are working together 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).
Under the terms of the collaboration, SII will receive upfront capital to expand manufacturing capacity after the vaccines gain regulatory approval so the doses can be distributed. The funding will be provided as part of the Gavi Covax Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a financing tool for the support of affordable access to vaccines for LMICs, an SII press release said. At $3 per dose, SII will manufacture vaccines licensed from AstraZeneca and Novavax, pending regulatory approval.
This announcement comes after the companies agreed to the acceleration and manufacture of an initial 100 million doses in August 2020, bringing the current number of doses up to 200 million, with the potential to add additional doses if needed, the press release said.
“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 the Serum Institute of India, in the press release. “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.”