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Serum Institute of India on Tuesday said it has secured another $150 million from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for manufacturing and delivery of another 100 million doses of safe and effective covid-19 vaccines for India and other low- and middle-income countries.

This takes the total at-risk funding for the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer to $300 million. Its total commitment to Gavi’s COVAX facility will be 200 million doses after the recent funding. Pune-based Serum Institute had secured a similar deal in early August.

The funding and commitment covers candidate vaccines licensed by AstraZeneca and Novavax, which Serum Institute has agreed to both manufacture and sell. The AstraZeneca vaccine is undergoing phase 3 trials in India and globally, while late-stage trials of the Novavax candidate is expected to start in October.

As and when the candidates are approved, the vaccines will be available for distribution in India and other low- and middle-income countries at a ceiling price of $3 per dose, a price agreed upon by Serum Institute with its partners, including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to enable widespread and equitable access to the vaccine.

“At this stage, it is important for governments and global health and financial institutions in the public and private sector to come together in ensuring no one is left behind in the road to recovery. This association is in line with our efforts to see that the future vaccines reach the remotest part of the world, providing full immunization coverage in a bid to contain the spread of the pandemic," said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute.

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