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.
Instagram Down: Giving 5xx Server Error
Update 19 Mar 2021 23:38 IST: Instagram and other apps are now working fine.
Instagram is currently facing downtime and users from all around the world are reporting Instagram Server Down on Twitter. Some users are also facing downtime on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The Instagram app is showing “couldn’t refresh feed”. and the Instagram website is giving 5xx Server Error.
Earthquake in Nalanda, Patna – Bihar with 3.5 Magnitude
An earthquake of magnitude 3.5 was reported near Nalanda in Bihar on Monday night, according to India’s National Center for Seismology.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 20 km northwest (NW) of Nalanda, Bihar, India, the agency said. The earthquake struck at 9:23 PM IST at a depth of 5 km from the surface. Tremors were also felt in Gaya, Bhagalpur, Nalanda, Patna.
Uttarakhand Power Plant Damaged After The Glacier Burst
Uttarakhand: A glacial burst in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand triggered an avalanche and massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands from surrounding areas, and damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
Disaster response and management teams have been deployed to conduct search-and-rescue and relief operations. Around 100 to 150 people may have been killed, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash told news agency ANI. Authorities fear hundreds more may still be stuck. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Assam to campaign for Assembly polls, tweeted: “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.”
Disaster management teams have been mobilized and hundreds of ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) have been rushed for rescue operations.
SN Pradhan, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said that teams from the relief force have been moved for search-and-rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand where a glacial burst has triggered an avalanche. “The glacial burst has taken out a bridge constructed by the Border Road Organisation. Also in the higher reaches, the Rishiganga hydel project also has been damaged,” he said.