AstraZeneca has signed an agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Serum Institute of India (SII) to expand access to University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The $750m agreement with CEPI and Gavi will support the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, previously ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and now called AZD1222, and its delivery is expected to begin by the end of 2020.

In addition, the company’s licensing agreement with SII encompasses the supply of one billion doses for low and middle-income countries, with a target of delivering 400 million doses by the end of 2020.

AstraZeneca chief executive officer Pascal Soriot said: “We are working tirelessly to honour our commitment to ensure broad and equitable access to Oxford’s vaccine across the globe and at no profit.

“Today marks an important step in helping us supply hundreds of millions of people around the world, including to those in countries with the lowest means. I am deeply grateful for everyone’s commitment to this cause and for their work in bringing this together in such a short time.”

AstraZeneca to provide global access to Covid-19 vaccine, including low and middle-income countries

AstraZeneca said that the agreements are aimed at providing global access to the Covid-19 vaccine, including low and middle-income countries, regardless of its recent partnerships with the UK and the US.

The company is creating several supply chains across the world to support global access to the vaccine during the pandemic and has secured manufacturing capacity for two billion doses so far.

The agreement with CEPI and Gavi is the first advanced market commitment through the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global mechanism co-chaired by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The accelerator mechanism is said to work towards ensuring the fair allocation and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine across the world including in low and middle-income nations.

Gavi chief executive officer Seth Berkley said: “Today we have seen tremendous willingness from donor governments to support equitable access, particularly to developing countries, and it is incredibly heartening to see the private sector join in this effort.

“We encourage other vaccine manufacturers to work with us towards the shared global goal of finding solutions for this unprecedented pandemic.”