Serum Institute of India, UNICEF Supply Agreement to Provide Pneumonia Vaccine to Low-Income Nations
- Lower-income countries across the world will now be able to access life-saving pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, which protect against the leading cause of pneumonia, for USD 2 per dose, thanks to the supply agreement between UNICEF, Vaccine Alliance Gavi’s procurement partner and the Serum Institute of India.
- The supply agreement is the 8th to take place under the Vaccine Alliance’s AMC mechanism, and the first to include a developing country manufacturer.
- The new price represents a 43 per cent reduction from the Gavi price of USD 3.50 at the start of the Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
- Under the agreement, the Indian company will provide 10 million PCV doses to Gavi-supported countries each year for the next ten years.
- The pneumococcus bacterium is the leading cause of severe pneumonia and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.
- Most of these deaths occur in lower-income countries and include a disproportionate number of children under the age of two, UNICEF said.
- “However, the country’s economy could prove the most resilient in the region. FDI to India has been on a long-term growth trend. Positive, albeit lower, economic growth in the post-pandemic period and India’s large market will continue to attract market-seeking investments to the country,” the report said.
- Gavi’s Managing Director for Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships & Innovative Finance Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao said the successful mechanism will now be used as a model to help ensure the world’s poorest countries get access to COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as the wealthiest, making it integral to the global effort to defeat this pandemic.
- The AMC, which is set to end this year, was launched by Gavi in 2009 – with the support of donors Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – to “solve a clear example of market failure: complex vaccines like PCV would normally reach low-income countries, where the disease burden is often highest, ten to 15 years after their introduction in industrialised countries.”
- The PCV vaccine has now been introduced in 60 lower-income countries, where coverage rates, at 48 per cent, are now higher than the global average of 47 per cent.
- Estimates indicate that more than 225 million children will have been vaccinated, and that over 700,000 deaths will have been prevented by the end of 2020.
- With the new supply agreement, AMC will be closing this year having facilitated the entry of the new manufacturer to the market as well as a record-setting low price for Gavi-supported countries that will result in an estimated millions of dollars in savings for both Gavi and lower income countries’ vaccine budgets, the UNICEF said.
- Gavi’s Managing Director for Vaccines and Sustainability Aurelia Nguyen said due to the “visionary model”, there is a healthy PCV market that is producing enough vaccines to supply both rich and poor countries and, as a result, hundreds of millions of children are now protected against one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
- At last week’s Global Vaccine Summit, Gavi launched the Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi Covax AMC), a new financing instrument aimed at incentivising vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of eventual COVID-19 vaccines, and to ensure access for developing countries.
Serum Institute of India is a manufacturer of immunobiological drugs including vaccines in India. It was founded by Cyrus Poonawalla in 1966. The company is a subsidiary of the holding company Poonawalla Investment & Industries, founded in 1966 and controlled by billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla.
- Founded- 1966
- Headquarters– Pune
- Chairman & MD– Cyrus S. Poonawalla
- CEO– Adar C.Poonawalla
GAVI, officially Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
- Founded – January 2000
- Founder – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
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