India’s Serum Institute gets £115mn from Gates Foundation for 100mn vaccine doses


The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced under £2.5 per dose, and will be made available in 92 countries.
The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced under £2.5 per dose, and will be made available in 92 countries.

SERUM INSTITUTE OF INDIA said on Friday (7) it would receive about £115 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make up to 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for India and other emerging economies as early as 2021.

The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced at about £2.3 per dose and will be made available in 92 countries in GAVI’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the company said in a statement.

It added that “collaboration will provide upfront capital to SII to help increase manufacturing capacity”.

Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said the partnership was an “an attempt to make our fight against Covid-19 stronger and all-embracing”.

The Gates Foundation will provide the funds to GAVI, which will be used to support Serum Institute.

GAVI, backed by the Gates Foundation, is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunization in poor countries.

It co-leads COVAX — a scheme designed to guarantee fast and equitable access globally to Covid-19 vaccines — along with the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

COVAX aims to deliver two billion doses of approved and effective Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

The announcement came as India reported a record jump in daily coronavirus infections on Friday and became the third country in the world to surpass two million cases, after the US and Brazil.