Novavax Inc said on Monday, November 21, it had delivered a written notice to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, terminating with immediate effect an agreement for the sale of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine to low- and middle-income countries.
The company cited Gavi’s failure to procure the 350 million doses it had agreed to buy in May last year for the COVAX facility.
The COVAX facility is a joint program between Gavi, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in poorer countries.
The termination has not resulted in any penalties, the company said.
Novavax received a non-refundable advance payment of $350 million from Gavi last year and an additional $350 million this year after the vaccine got the WHO’s emergency use listing, the company said.
Novavax also has a pact with Serum Institute of India for manufacturing a version of the vaccine under the brand Covovax, which would also be supplied to the COVAX facility.
Serum Institute was expected to manufacture and sell around 750 million doses of Covovax to the facility.
Novavax and Serum Institute were not immediately available to respond on whether that deal was also terminated.
The announcement comes on the back of poor demand for the company’s shot amid a global supply glut for COVID-19 vaccines and waning demand.
The company had earlier this month cut its full-year forecast yet again, hurt by late authorizations of its vaccine globally. Covovax and Serum’s vaccines were the ninth and tenth vaccine, respectively, to get the WHO’s emergency listing.
Gavi was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment. – Rappler.com