The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, Serum Institute, has fixed a ceiling price of $3 per dose for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pune-based institute has proposed this price for India and other low- and middle-income countries (LMICS).
At-risk funding of $150 million will be contributed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Gavi (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation). It will finance Serum so that the potential vaccine prospects can be elicited. Even the prospects from US biotech company Novavax and UK firm AstraZeneca will be involved.
Considerably, the proposed vaccine at the ceiling price will only be distributed to 92 countries. The decision has been taken under the Covax alliance — co-led by Gavi, World Health Organization (WHO), and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). This alliance constituted to stimulate the growth of Covid-19 vaccines and assure their access in an immediate and rightful way.
On Friday, the company set a partnership with Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This has been done, in order to stimulate the production and delivery of doses up to 100 million for these countries. About 50 million doses of this will be solitary produced for India. Besides this, 50 percent of the one billion doses from Astra Zeneca will also be provided to India. As a part of a commitment to Serum Institute, a part of one billion doses from Novavax will also be given.
According to Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute, the company will stimulate production and delivery of around 100 million doses, throughout their partnership. This will be done by the first half of 2021, as a part of a commitment with India and LMICS.
An upfront capital will be provided to Seum by the alliance, so as to boost the production. Doses can be produced at a bigger proportion for India and LMICS, once a vaccine is approved and prequalified by WHO.
In consonance with the World Health Organization’s global allocation framework, doses will be proportionally distributed around 92 countries. The chronology will eventually rely on the outcomes of 3 level trials. The vaccine will then be certified from the WHO prequalification and Drug Controller General of India. The doses will most probably be distributed by the first half of 2021.
Gavi, Gates Foundation, and Serum collaborated to bolster the undertakings of Covax, also known as ACT Accelerator’s vaccines’ pillar. Investment-related decisions in production are made in tight confederation between these foundations.
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