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Bill Gates pledges $150 million to make $3 COVID-19 vaccine for developing countries

REUTERS/Jason Lee

Bill Gates pledges $150 million to make $3 COVID-19 vaccine for developing countries

Bill Gates is backing an India-based vaccine manufacturer, aiming to bring an affordable COVID-19 vaccine to poorer communities when it is developed.

Bill Gates pledges $150 million to make $3 COVID-19 vaccine for developing countries

Bill Gates has announced he will fund $150 million to COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution, with one company hoping to make a vaccine that would cost as little as $3.

Gates, the second-richest person in the world, has been a long-time supporter in vaccine production, having spent $4 billion in vaccine development over the past two decades.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of vaccines are now in development. Gates’ $150 million pledge through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is going to the Serum Institute, the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world, based in India.

Their aim, if a viable vaccine is found, is to produce 100 million doses at the cost of just $3 each, helping ensure the world’s poorest do not miss out on the vaccine.

“Researchers are making good progress on developing safe and effective vaccines for Covid-19,” Bill Gates said in a statement. “But making sure everyone has access to them, as soon as possible, will require tremendous manufacturing capacity and a global distribution network. This collaboration gives the world some of both: the power of India’s manufacturing sector and Gavi’s supply chain.”

Gavi, a global alliance that focusses on creating access to vaccines in the developing world which Gates also supports, has also pledged money towards the Serum Institute.

The Serum Institute has announced they would begin manufacturing a vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University which has yet to finish clinical trials.

There are currently 26 vaccines at the human-trial stage, but only a small number have reached the final round of testing.

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