​​​​​​Novavax Inc said on Thursday it has signed an agreement with the GAVI vaccine alliance to manufacture and distribute 350 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to countries participating in the COVAX facility.

The COVAX facility, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries, is co-led by GAVI, the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

The company said India's Serum Institute will manufacture and deliver the balance of the 1.1 billion doses of its vaccine to be delivered to the COVAX vaccine scheme, under a separate agreement.

While Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is yet to be authorized in any country, the company and the Serum Institute plan to start delivery of the doses in the third quarter of 2021.

Novavax said it will get an upfront payment from GAVI later this month and an additional payment following an emergency use listing for its vaccine by the World Health Organization.

Reuters reported earlier this week the company told the European Union it plans to begin delivering its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the bloc towards the end of this year.