Serum Institute of India, one of world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, has signed a partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the manufacture and delivery of 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for US $3 each.
The Gates Foundation’s risk funding of US $150 million would help Serum Institute mass produce the vaccine for India and low and middle income countries.
“The rampant spread of the virus has rendered the entire world in an unimaginable halt of uncertainty. And to ensure maximum immunisation 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 cures and preventive measures,” said Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive of the Serum Institute of India.
Serum Institute has the exclusive rights to the vaccine in India during the term of the deal, and non-exclusive rights during the “Pandemic Period” in all countries other than those designated by the World Bank as upper-middle or high-income countries.
The company has stopped mass production of other drugs and vaccines at its two facilities to produce millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
India currently has a burden of 607,384 active cases of COVID-19; while 41,585 people have succumbed to the viral infection, according to data released on Friday by the nation's federal Health Ministry.