COVID-19 vaccine in India likely to cost less than Rs 1000

New Delhi: The Serum Institute of India (SII) will launch the first Covid-19 vaccine called ‘Covishield’ and commence its trials soon in India.

“We will keep the vaccine’s price under Rs 1,000 per dose. We are certain that it will be procured and distributed by governments without charge,” said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, SII in an e-mail interview to The New Indian Express.

However, he exuded hope that the vaccine will be bought by governments and distributed free of cost.

“I don’t think any individual will have to pay for it because the vaccines will mostly be bought by governments and then distributed free through the immunisation programmes,” Poonawalla said during an interview to India Today TV.

The SII will be applying soon for the licensure trials of AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine to the Indian regulator.

Commenting on the AstraZeneca-Oxford Vvaccine’s results, Poonawalla said: “The trials have shown promising results and we are extremely happy about it. We will be applying for the licensure trials to the Indian regulator in a week’s time. As soon as they grant us permission, we will begin with the trials for the vaccine in India. In addition, we will soon start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes.”

Monday marked an important day in the battle against COVID as the first results of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine show it is safe and provokes an immune reaction in a person that lasts for almost two months.

The researchers are indicating that the vaccine may be ready by year-end. The results showed that more than 91 per cent of volunteers injected produced an immune response against the coronavirus that lasted a month or more. The immune responses remained strong for at least 56 days.

Oxford University’s vaccine – called AZD1222 – is being manufactured by pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca and the UK Government has ordered 100 million doses ahead of time.

As per the results, the vaccine boosted T cell and antibody immunity. The vaccine produced a strong response on both accounts, the study found, with T cell immunity peaking after two weeks and then dropping slightly by day 56.

Antibody immunity, on the other hand, peaked after four weeks and remained high by day 56, indicating that it may well last for even longer.

(With IANS inputs)

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