With the rising cases of Covid-19 one thing is obvious. Kenya may have to rely on a Covid-19 vaccine before we get back to normal. The issue is not that Kenyans are dying. It’s just that the pandemic leaves too many unknowns on the table to get back to full economic capacity.
Serum Institute of India said on Friday it would receive $150 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for India and other emerging economies as early as 2021.
The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced at $3 per dose and will be made available in 92 countries in GAVI’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the company said in a statement.
The Gates Foundation will provide the funds to GAVI, which will be used to support Serum Institute.
The Serum Institute is one of the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world. Rather than charging high prices, it makes money by manufacturing at massive volumes.
The fear for most 3rd world countries is that even if a vaccine is found, it would take years to have it available. With the USA already spending billions to buy out stock from other drugs, the fear is not unfounded.
Too many times we’ve seen the most vulnerable countries left at the back of the queue when it comes to new treatments, new diagnostics and new vaccines. With COVID-19 vaccines we want things to be different. If only the wealthiest countries in the world are protected, then international trade, commerce and society as a whole will continue to be hit hard as the pandemic continues to rage across the globe. Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley said in a statement.
The $150 million donation was made through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an organization that negotiates and finances vaccines for low-income and middle-income countries. Kenya has been listed among the 92 countries to benefit from this arrangement.
With over 31,000 confirmed Covid cases in Kenya and 414 deaths to date, A Covid-19 vaccine in Kenya will help us restart the economy.