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Serum Institute Partners With CEPI For Affordable Outbreak Vaccines

In a significant development for global health preparedness, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has joined the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) network of vaccine producers in the Global South. This collaborative effort aims to strengthen the response to future public health disease outbreaks through rapid, agile, and equitable means.

CEPI’s Mission and Investment

CEPI, a global partnership dedicated to preventing epidemics, is investing up to $30 million to expand SII’s manufacturing capacity. The objective is to enable swift production and supply of investigational vaccines in the face of epidemic and pandemic threats. This strategic investment will empower CEPI-backed vaccine developers to transfer their technology to SII within days or weeks of an outbreak, facilitating the rapid production and equitable distribution of affordable vaccines to affected populations.

CEPI’s 100 Days Mission

The collaboration between CEPI and SII aligns with the ambitious 100 Days Mission, a goal embraced by the G7, G20, and industry leaders. The mission aims to develop new vaccines against known or novel infectious diseases within three months of a pandemic threat being recognized. SII’s inclusion in CEPI’s manufacturing network is expected to play a crucial role in achieving this mission.

Support for Priority Pathogens

With CEPI’s funding, SII will not only bolster its manufacturing capabilities but also actively support the development, stockpiling, and licensure of new vaccines against CEPI’s priority pathogens. The collaboration involves the identification of specific CEPI-backed vaccines that SII will focus on, enhancing the collective preparedness for potential disease outbreaks.

CEPI’s Global Manufacturing Network

SII becomes the fourth member of CEPI’s global manufacturing network, following Aspen in South Africa, Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal, and Bio Farma in Indonesia. This network, created by CEPI, aims to expand the global footprint of vaccine production with a focus on vaccine makers in the Global South. The geographical emphasis is on areas at high risk of outbreaks caused by deadly viral threats such as Lassa Fever, Nipah, Disease X, and other pathogens with epidemic or pandemic potential prioritized by CEPI.

Dr. Richard Hatchett’s Perspective

Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, emphasized the need for heightened preparedness in the face of escalating epidemic and pandemic risks. He stated, “Living in an era of heightened epidemic and pandemic risk, evidenced by the increasing prevalence, speed, and spread of outbreaks of infectious disease, we must prepare to confront these threats head-on to avoid another Covid-like catastrophe in the future.”

A Key Strategy for Future Pandemic Prevention

In the event of an outbreak, SII may be called upon to promptly supply investigational vaccines for preclinical and clinical testing, as well as large-scale supply. Shortening the time taken to manufacture and validate the first batches of experimental vaccines is considered crucial in enabling a response within just 100 days, a goal that could prove instrumental in stopping a future pandemic in its tracks.

Important Questions Related to Exams

1. How much is CEPI investing to expand Serum Institute of India’s (SII) vaccine production capacity?

2. Which infectious diseases are mentioned as priority pathogens for vaccine development by CEPI?

3. Who is the Chief Executive of CEPI?

Kindly share your responses in the comment section!!

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