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.
A man in New Zealand finds insects in his Domino’s pizza
A man in West Auckland, New Zealand says he was left feeling sick after allegedly discovering maggots (insects larva) on his takeaway pizza order from Domino’s. However, the Domino’s Pizza outlet where Reginald Thalari says he bought the pizza denied the claim.
On Tuesday afternoon, Thalari purchased four pizzas from Domino’s Pizza outlet in Avondale for his employees. But it was after they had eaten a few slices that Thalari alleges they made a stomach-churning discovery.
“It was disgusting. We ordered four pizzas but when we opened the box with pepperoni we saw maggots on the ham. I felt like spewing, to be honest. If someone says would you like some pizza I think I’ll turn them down next time.”
However, a Domino’s spokesperson said that it is extremely unlikely maggots would have been in store pre-purchase and said it would be “impossible” for eggs to survive the temperature of their ovens.
“Domino’s takes food health and safety extremely seriously, and ensures these standards are upheld through regular audits and inspections of stores throughout the year,” the spokesperson said.
The Domino’s Pizza spokeswoman further said that “Upon learning of this customer’s experience, we contacted the customer directly and have organised a deep clean of the store, as well as for our pest control company to further inspect,”
Singer Shobhit Sahay won hearts with his song ‘Mehrbaan Alvida’
Music can evoke many emotions in you. Songs help you express feelings for which you can’t find words. Singers play a key role in giving that effect to a song with their beautiful voices. In a country like India, many young singers are leaving people impressed with their impeccable talent. Shobhit Sahay from Muzaffarpur is one such talented singer/vocalist who is here to rule hearts.
Currently, Shobhit Sahay is grabbing headlines and making people fall in love with his song ‘Mehrbaan Alvida’. His melodious voice has elevated the song’s mood along with the catchy music. The song is trending on the internet and has crossed more than 100K views recently. Shobhit is over the moon with such a positive response to his latest release.
Along with being a good singer, Shobhit Sahay is also popular among the netizens as a social media influencer. Shobhit has thousands of followers on his Instagram account, where he shares videos covering various tracks. A few months ago, legendary singer Stebin Ben praised Shobhit for his amazing vocal skills. Shobhit also runs a YouTube channel where people can’t get enough of his talent and music skills.
Shobhit shares about his journey and love for music, “I have been into music since childhood. I used to listen to singers like Arijit Singh, Stebin Ben, Jubin Nautiyal and others. They captivate your mind with their soulful voice. They made me believe in my dreams and I am happy that people enjoy my work, especially my latest songs. I hope I keep making more original songs and people keep showering me with such good love.”
Thanks to the success of Mehrbaan Alvida, singer Shobhit Sahay has got the attention of many top Bollywood composers. Currently, various music composers have approached his to sing either for a movie or web show. Shobhit is excited about the way his singing career is shaping. Soon, he will announce his new project on social media.
About the enormous love and appreciation she receives on social media, the singer expresses, “I am incredibly amazed by the support and fondness of my Instagram followers. Their constant comments, appreciation, likes, and sharing of my content is what made me so strong in the world of social media. Deeply overwhelmed with the response. I hope I keep giving my best and make my followers and music lovers happy.”
Top military officer of India, CDS General Bipin Rawat passed away in chopper crash
General (retd) Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General, passed away on Wednesday when an Indian Air Force helicopter ferrying him and 13 others crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force said.
The crash took place as Rawat was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. It is being speculated that the crash took place due to low visibility in foggy conditions.
“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” the Indian Air Force (IAF) said in a Twitter post late Wednesday.
“Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today,” the IAF said in a second post.
Rawat, a former Indian army chief, took office as the first CDS on 1 January 2020 at the start of a three-year term. He was the one point defence advisor to the Defence Minister. He was also entrusted with carrying out some of the country’s key defence reforms – creating synergy among the three services by merging their 17 different commands into four or five joint commands. The new commands were to focus on specific borders.