UNICEF has announced a deal with the Serum Institute of India to produce 1.1 billion doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford and Novavax vaccines at a cost of $3 per dose.
“This is, of course, just an initial tranche of COVAX vaccines. More will follow. We will continue to work on the supply agreements to meet the needs of the COVAX vaccine requirements for the first half of 2021,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement Wednesday.
COVAX is a coordinated partnership of the World Health Organization (WHO); GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; the Center for Epidemics Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and others to ensure vaccines are distributed to the world’s poorest countries.
“For countries which have already initiated vaccination drives, and those yet to begin, this information is a hopeful marker on the winding path out of a pandemic that will not be truly over until it is over for us all,” Fore said.
COVAX already has plans to distribute 100 million doses by the end of March and 200 million more by July.