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Covid-19: Serum Institute of India to produce vaccines at Rs 225 per dose

Vishnu Vasisht

The Serum Institute of India (SII) said on Friday (7 August) that it has collaborated with Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to produce 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for India and other low and middle-income countries.

"This alliance will provide the upfront capital to the Serum Institute to help increase manufacturing capacity, so that once a vaccine is approved by regulatory approvals and the World Health Organization, Gavi Covax Under AMC, by the first half of 2021 enough doses can be produced for distribution in India and other low-middle income countries," SII said in a statement.

The company said that it has set an affordable rate of three dollars per dose, or about 225 rupees. This financing will also provide support in the manufacture of potential vaccines for AstraZeneca and Novavax. Vaccines of these two companies are currently undergoing testing. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $150 million of risk-free funding to Gavi through its investment fund, to be used to support the Serum Institute in the manufacture of potential vaccines and to purchase vaccines for future low and middle-income countries.

Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adar Poonawalla said, "In an effort to strengthen our fight against Covid-19, the Serum Institute has introduced Covid-19 vaccines for India and low and middle income countries. Has collaborated with Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce 100 million doses".

Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, said, "We are very happy to see this global partnership to respond to the global health crisis. India not only has a proven track record of producing effective and affordable effective vaccines, but also for the world".

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