- The Washington Times - Friday, August 7, 2020

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is teaming with the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer to make 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine available to India and dozens of poorer nations in 2021 at no more than $3 per dose.

The Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine maker by volume, said Friday the project is subject to the approval of vaccine candidates from AstraZeneca and Novavax, two of the leading pharmaceutical players in the race.

“The rampant spread of the virus has rendered the entire world in an unimaginable halt of uncertainty. And to ensure maximum immunization coverage and contain the pandemic, it is important to make sure that the most remote and poorest countries of the world have access to affordable cure and preventive measures,” said institute CEO Adar Poonawalla. “Through this association, we seek to ramp up our constant efforts to save the lives of millions of people from this dreadful disease.”

The Gates foundation is posting $150 million for the collaboration with the Serum Institute and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.

Gavi approved a list of 92 low- and middle-income countries that will receive the doses. The AstraZeneca shot will be available to 57 of them, and the Novavax version will be available to all of them.

Experts say it will be important to make sure there is equitable distribution of any COVID-19 to ensure the virus is brought under control worldwide.

The U.S. government is lining up hundreds of millions of doses from the frontrunners in the vaccine race to ensure the bulk of the domestic population is vaccinated in 2021.

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