AstraZeneca has agreed terms with Serum Institute of India to supply one billion doses for low and middle-income countries
Britain's AstraZeneca has tied up with Serum Institute of India and two Bill Gates-backed global health organisations as it looks to deliver two billion doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine this year and next, double the previous numbers,
The company, which has already agreed to supply 400 million doses to the United States and British governments, said on June 4 it had agreed terms with Serum Institute of India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, to supply one billion doses for low and middle-income countries.
AstraZeneca's partnership with Oxford University has garnered international attention as one of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, sealing more than $1 billion in US government funding last month as it ramps up testing of the vaccine and manufacturing capacity.
The management said it had also signed an agreement worth $750 million with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and GAVI vaccines alliance, both founded by Microsoft-founder Gates and his wife Melinda, to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, was quoted by IANS as saying he was delighted to partner with AstraZeneca in bringing this vaccine to India as well as low-and-middle-income countries. "Over the past 50 years, we has built significant capability in vaccine manufacturing and supply globally. We will work closely with AstraZeneca to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine in these countries," he said.
GAVI said on June 4 it had raised $567 million of a planned $2 billion from international donors for an advanced market commitment to buy future COVID-19 vaccines for poor countries, including a $100 million commitment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Over 100 vaccines are currently in the race to end the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected over 6.5 million people globally.(With inputs from Reuters and IANS)