Access and R&D

Period. 29 September - 5 October 2020
  • Last week also saw the Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance doubling their funding to the Indian Serum Institute in order to provide up to 200 million doses of a future COVID-19 vaccine to low- and middle-income countries. The partnership includes 16 of the leading pharmaceutical companies that are developing Coronavirus vaccines, as the increased likely that more than one vaccine may be available as early as next year would allow for a rapid scaling up of production and distribution capacities. The additional funds will allow the Serum Institute to boost manufacturing of the vaccine candidates that are being developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax for delivery under the COVAX Facility as early as the first half of 2021. An analysis by DW outlines the enormous manufacturing capacity of the Serum Institute that have made it the largest vaccine manufacturer by volume in the world at over 1.5 billion doses a year. While 33 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently in clinical trials, the Serum Institute has already produced two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccine candidate for use in testing, including State 3 Clinical Trials in India, the U.S., Brazil and South Africa. Should the clinical trials indicate that the vaccine candidate is both safe and effective, the Serum Institute has indicated it could scale up production to 10 million doses a month, as economies of scale would bring the cost down to under US$13 a dose.

This development is part of the digest;