On Friday, Serum Institute of India said that it has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with the GAVI vaccine network to produce 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for India as well as other developing countries next year.

Bill Gates has donated $150 million through the Gates Foundation
Bill Gates has donated $150 million (Rs 1,121 crore) through the Gates Foundation

The funding, total $150 million (Rs 1,121 crore), will be provided for the SII through the GAVI network for making low-cost COVID-19 vaccine doses. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said:

“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.”

According to SII, the funding will help them scale up the manufacturing capacity so that it can mass-produce the vaccines as soon as they obtain WHO prequalification and regulatory approval. This will allow for vaccine distribution in not only India but also low and middle-income countries in the first half of 2021.

SII will start mass-producing COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are approved
SII will start mass-producing COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are approved

It also said that COVID-19 vaccine candidates from Novavax and AstraZeneca will be sold at $3 (Rs 225) per dose and will be available in 92 countries within the purview of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

COVAX, co-lead by GAVI, has the mission to provide people with fast, equitable access to coronavirus vaccines. The scheme plans to deliver a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of next year.

As of now, India has recorded over 23 lakh positive cases and more than 46,000 deaths since COVID-19 broke out. Meanwhile, globally, SARS-CoV-2 has infected over 20.5 million people and taken more than 740,000 lives. We hope an effective vaccine will soon be approved so that we can get out of this nightmare.

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