As the coronavirus cases in India are likely to hit the 90-lakh mark in coming days, the Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla on Thursday, 19 November, announced that the country could receive the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for the frontline healthcare workers by the year 2020 or early next year.
It is likely to be priced at a maximum of Rs 500-600, he said.
Serum Institute of India is planning to produce 100 million dosages of vaccines by February 2021.
Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020, Poonawalla said: “Never did I dream that we at the Serum Institute of India (SII) would have a good vaccine developed by this year-end with all regulatory approvals in place. If everything goes according to plan, January-February 2021 is our deadline for making the vaccine available to frontline workers and to the general public by March, April next year,” Hindustan Times reported.
Poonawalla said it will take about four more years to get everyone vaccinated and protected from the virus.
SII signed a deal with British-Swedish company AstraZeneca to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford.
"“As soon as the UK authorities – the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) – and the European EMEA (European Medicines Agency) approves it for emergency use, we will apply to the Drug Controller (DCGI) in India and, hopefully, very soon, we can also get an emergency use authorisation,”" - Adar Poonawalla, Serum Institute of India’s CEO
Poonawalla also stated that the SII plans to make about 10 crore doses per month from February. When asked about how many doses will India receive, he stated that talks are still going on and no agreement has been arrived at in this regard, reported News18.
According to the Lancet Medical Journal, Oxford COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response in older adults. The latest development in the vaccine has raised hopes that it may protect the age groups which are at most risk from the infection.
(With inputs from News18 and Hindustan Times)
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