Bill Gates commits $750M to help Oxford vaccinate the world against COVID-19

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed $750 million towards the manufacturing and distribution a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University.

The funds come as part of a deal with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, who’s joined forces with organisations fighting to protect the world against infectious diseases like COVID-19: the Serum Institute of India (SII); the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI); and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) — of which the latter two are directly funded by Gates.

Gates’ millions will support the delivery of 300 million doses of the vaccine, confusingly dubbed AZD1222, with the first shipments expected to begin by the end of 2020. 

A separate licensing agreement with SII will see one billion doses sent to low-and-middle income countries, with 400 million supplied before 2021.

In total, AstraZeneca says it can manufacture two billion doses of AZD1222 “at no profit during the pandemic,” with the US and the UK reportedly scheduled to receive 300 million and 100 million doses already.

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