In a move that will bolster the attempts of coronavirus vaccine development and delivery to India and other countries, the Serum Institute of India has joined hands with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The joined efforts have been launched to speed up the process of development of the vaccine for Covid-19 and to ensure the delivery of up to 100 million doses of the elusive vaccines for India and low and middle-income countries when developed. Under this agreement, Pune-based firm can charge a maximum of $3 per dose for the two COVID-19 vaccines.
The vaccine, when developed from candidates from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be available for procurement if the companies successfully obtain full licensure and prequalification from the World Health Organisation (WHO). This has been confirmed by the spokespersons for the SII. Gavi is an international organisation that was created in 2000. It is a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Its core partners are the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The companies are in discussions to have Serum Institute manufacture vaccine antigens in India. Novavax and Serum Institute will split the revenue from the sale of the product, net of agreed costs. Serum Institute has also partnered with Oxford University-Astra Zeneca for manufacturing the COVID vaccine in India. Recently, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to Serum Institute of India, Pune to conduct Phase II+III clinical trials of Oxford University-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (COVISHIELD) in India.