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Health

India's Serum Institute to get $150 million from Gates Foundation for COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a signpost of India's Serum Institute, the world's largest maker of vaccines, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at its laboratory in Pune, India, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Euan Rocha

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Serum Institute of India said on Friday it would receive $150 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for India and other emerging economies as early as 2021.

The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced at $3 per dose and will be made available in 92 countries in GAVI’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the company said in a statement.

The Gates Foundation will provide the funds to GAVI, which will be used to support Serum Institute.

GAVI, backed by the Gates Foundation, is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunization in poor countries.

It co-leads COVAX - a scheme designed to guarantee fast and equitable access globally to COVID-19 vaccines - along with the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

COVAX aims to deliver 2 billion doses of approved and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

India reported a record jump in daily coronavirus infections on Friday and became the third country in the world to surpass 2 million cases. It lags only the United States and Brazil in the number of infections.

Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Anil D’Silva

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