The Pune headquartered Serum Institute of India (SII) that is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, will provide its Covid-19 (Coronavirus) vaccine at under US$3 per dose for patients in India and also to 93 other countries under the new collaboration of the company with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under this new agreement, the Gates Foundation through its strategic investment fund will provide at-risk funding of US$150 million to Gavi, which will be used to support the SII to manufacture the potential vaccine candidates. As per the current valuation of Indian currency, the vaccine would be available for Rs 225 per dose.
SII will produce up to 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for India and low- and middle-income countries as early as 2021. The vaccines will be priced at a maximum of US $ 3 per dose and made available to 92 countries included in Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). The collaboration will provide upfront capital to SII to help them increase manufacturing capacity now so that, once a vaccine, or vaccines, gains regulatory approval and the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification, doses can be produced at scale for distribution as early as the first half of 2021.
The funding will support at-risk manufacturing by SII for candidate vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax, which will be available for procurement if they are successful in attaining full licensure and WHO prequalification.
“In an attempt to make our fight against Covid-19 stronger and all-embracing; SII has partnered with Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of future COVID-19 vaccines for India and low and middle-income countries in 2021,” said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India in a statement issued to the press.
Dr. Balram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said, “India has demonstrated consistent capability in delivering on low-cost and high-quality medical research, while also maintaining technical and scientific rigor. The ICMR is deeply supportive of our cutting edge vaccine research and manufacturing prowess, of which SII is one prominent example. This partnership signifies yet another step in India’s efforts to bolster the fight against this global pandemic.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, via its strategic investment fund, will provide at-risk funding of US$150 million to Gavi, which will be used to support the Serum Institute of India to manufacture potential vaccine candidates, and for future procurement of vaccines for low- and middle-income countries via Gavi’s COVAX AMC.
An Earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 felt in Nepal, India and China
An earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 hit Nepal, India, and China at around 03.00 pm IST. Tremors were felt in Nepal with light tremors in some cities like Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, and Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.
The epicenter is said to be 10 km from Phulpingkatti in Nepal. More updates are awaited.
London Bridge Down: Death of Queen Elizabeth brings a moment of reckoning for Britain
LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II has died in Scotland aged 96 after battling health problems since last October, the Royal Family announced Thursday. Doctors had placed the queen under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands.
Buckingham Palace has just released the following statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her close family rushed to her bedside as doctors grew “concerned” about her health on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said. Her grandson and his wife, Harry and Meghan Markle – who had a public showdown with the Palace, flew in from Canada.
According to news agency AFP, the Queen pulled out of a planned meeting with her senior political advisors on Wednesday, after being told to rest. The previous day she had audiences at Balmoral – her Scottish Highlands retreat, with outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appointed his successor, Liz Truss.
In recent months, the Queen appeared visibly frail and had a series of withdrawals from public engagements. She had taken to walking with a stick and was also seen touring the Chelsea Flower Show in a motorized buggy.
In June, the UK came together for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the British throne. Her husband, Prince Phillip, died last year at the age of 99, two months before his 100th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
Bharat Ratna awardee and true gem Lata Mangeshkar Ji is no more
The nightingale of the music industry, Lata Mangeshkar Ji passed away on February 6 at the age of 92 in the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. She was born on September 29, 1929. Very few singers have achieved the admiration that she did in her life.
She sang thousands of songs in more than 20 different languages. Not only in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, she was also admired and praised in western countries.
PM Modi was among the first ones to share the sad news. “The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he tweeted.
Apart from Bharat Ratna, she received numerous honors like the Daughter of the Nation award, the Legion of Honour award from the French government, and many more. Lata Mangeshkar truly was a gift that India will never cease cherishing.
We at Giveupnot pay our heartly tributes to her and wish that “unki aatma ko sadgati prapt ho”, OM SHANTI.