SII CEO says Oxford COVID vaccine will be available for Rs. 1000 for 2 doses!
Galatta | Nov 20, 2020, 06:40 pm
The race to identify and manufacture a potent COVID-19 vaccine is heating up with a number of vaccine candidates nearing the end stages of their Phase 3 trials! In India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer - Serum Institute of India (SII), is conducting the Phase 3 trials of the vaccine candidate being jointly developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca! The vaccine candidate has shown good promise and we hear that the healthcare workers and elderly people by February of next year itself! The general public can expect to be able to get the vaccine by April of 2021, if all the regulatory approvals and trial results are all satisfactory.
The CEO of SII - Adar Poonawalla has stated that the public would be able to access the vaccine for as low as Rs. 1000 for the required 2 doses! He however added that it might be 2024 by the time all Indians are completely vaccinated. Poonawalla states that delay for every single Indian to be vaccinated will not be because of the supply constraints but more because of budget, logistics, infrastructure to distribute the vaccine and above all, people's willingness to take it. People will be able to get the vaccine at about 5-6 USD while the government will be getting it for about 3-4 USD as they would be purchasing it in bulk. Poonawalla has stated that the pricing would definitely be far more cheap and affordable than other vaccines in the market.
There were some concerns about the efficacy of the Oxford vaccine in elderly people but now, even those concerns have been addressed and the vaccine is proving to work well on aged people too. Poonawalla has stated, "It has induced a good T-cell response, which is an indicator for 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." He also added that the SII would apply for emergency authorisation as soon as the UK authorities and the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) approve it for emergency use. However, even this would only be for emergency use in healthcare & frontline workers and elderly people. Stay tuned for further updates...