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GAVI inks pact with Serum Institute of India, Novavax for Covid-19 vaccine supply

GAVI, the vaccine alliance, on Friday, said that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US vaccine makerNovavaxandSerum Institute of Indiafor the supply ofCovid-19 vaccinesto the WHO backed Covax facility.

The MOU will combine the existing agreement that SII and Novavax have for vaccine supply, which includes a commitment to provide a total of 1.1 billion doses of Novavax’s candidate NVX-CoV2373 to the Covax Facility.

The Novavax vaccine has shown 90% efficacy in phase 3 clinical trials in the UK that enrolled more than 15,000 participants aged 18-84 years, of whom 27% were over 65. The vaccine was shown to work against the more infectious UK strain, according to the company.

However, its efficacy against the group detected with the South Africa strain was 60%. In India, SII is running a bridging trial for Novavax. India is considered a middle-income country under Covax scheme and is expected to receive doses under this pact.

“This agreement brings the Covax facility a step closer to its goal of supplying vaccines globally and ending the acute phase of the pandemic,” said Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI.

Gavi said the 1.1 billion cumulative volume of doses will be made available to the facility via a final advance purchase agreement with Novavax, once signed, and an existing pact between Gavi and the Serum Institute of India (SII) made possible by a Novavax-SII technology transfer agreement, at no cost, and facilitated by UNICEF’s agreement with SII.

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