- SII CEO said the Oxford vaccine candidate would be made available for the public by April next year
- Priority would be given to elderly citizens and frontline health workers.
- The vaccine would not be priced higher than Rs. 1000 for two doses once it is available
THD NewsDesk, Pune: Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla announced that their Covid vaccine candidate would be launched by February 2021. Developed in close association with Oxford University, the vaccine would be made available for public use by April next year. Initially, the vaccine would be administered only to healthcare workers and senior citizens. Subsequently, the vaccine would be available for the general public, tentatively priced at Rs. 1000 for two doses.
“It will be 2024 for everybody, if willing to take a two-dose vaccine, to be vaccinated,” SII’s Adar Poonawalla said.
The Serum Institute CEO said, “The government of India will be getting it at a far lower price at around USD 3-4 because it will be buying in a large volume and get access to the price that is similar to what Covax has got. We are still pricing is far cheaper and more affordable than other vaccines we have in the market today.”
Commenting on the efficacy of the vaccine, Adar Poonawalla said,
“It has induced a good T-cell response, which is an indicator for your long-term immunity and antibody response but then again, time will only tell if these vaccines are going to protect you in the long term. Nobody can answer that for any of the vaccines today,” Poonawalla said.
Further, the SII chief said that the medical institute would seek emergency use authorisation from the DCGI as soon as UK authorities and the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) approve it.
Moreover, Poonawalla claimed that roundabout 30-40 crore doses of the vaccine shots would be available by April 2021.
“India wants around 400 million doses by July. I do not know if it will take all from the Serum Institute. We are gearing up to offer that kind of volume to India and still have a few 100 million to offer to COVAX by July and August. No agreement so far,” he said.
Since young children are not easy victims of serious illness and recover easily, the vaccine would reach them later. Though no consensus has been achieved on the issue yet, SII aims to roll out 10 crore vaccine doses per month February onwards.
Source: India Today