Bill & Melinda Foundation partner with India’s Serum Institute


As India’s COVID-19 cases rise to record heights, a vaccine has become a desperate need to control the spread. Many of indigenous vaccine manufacturers are now entering in to phase 2 and 3, with ready-to-market date firmly early 2021.

Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India stated on Friday that it has entered into a partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for India and other emerging economies as early as 2021.

The funds will be provided to GAVI which will be used to support Serum Institute.

“The collaboration will provide upfront capital to SII to help them increase manufacturing capacity now so that, once a vaccine, or vaccines, gains regulatory approval and WHO prequalification, doses can be produced at scale for distribution to India and LMICs as part of the Gavi COVAX AMC mechanism as early as the first half of 2021,” SII said in a statement.

“In an attempt to make our fight against COVID-19 stronger and all-embracing; SII has partnered with Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of future COVID vaccines for India and low- and middle-income countries in 2021,” Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said.

“The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced at $3 per dose and will be made available in 92 countries in GAVI`s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC),” the company stated in a statement.

GAVI, the Gates-backed organization, co-leads a scheme called ‘COVAX’ designed to provide fast and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The scheme aims to deliver a billion doses of approved and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

India’s COVID-19 cases tally crossed 20 lakh mark with the highest single-day spike of 62,538 cases on Friday, said Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The COVID-19 tally rises to 20,27,075 including 6,07,384 active cases, 13,78,106 cured/ discharged/ migrated and 41,585 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.