coronavirus update indiaas on : 25 November 2020 05:48 GMT+5:30
Oxford Vaccine Will Cost Rs 1,000,Likely Available By 2021 Says Adar Poonawalla
Mr Poonawalla said the SII is not entering into any agreement with other countries at this moment as India is its priority.
Oxford Vaccine Will Cost Rs 1,000, Likely Available By 2021 Says Adar Poonawalla
New Delhi: The vaccine maker Serum Institue of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla on Thursday has said that the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine should be available for the healthcare workers and elderly people by around February 2021 and by April for the general public and will be priced at the maximum of 1,000 for two neccesary doses of the public.
Every Indian will get vaccinated probably by 2024 said Adar Poonawalla at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS), 2020.
"It will probably take two or three years for every Indian to get inoculated, not just because of the supply constraints but because you need the budget, the vaccine, logistics, infrastructure, and then, people should be willing to take the vaccine. So these are the factors that lead up to being able to vaccinate 80-90 percent of the population.
"It will be 2024 for everybody, if willing to take a two-dose vaccine, to be vaccinated," said Mr. Poonawalla.
On asked at what price the public will get it, he said that it will be around USD 5-6 per dose with an MRP of around ₹ 1,000 for the two necessary doses."The government of India will be getting it at a far cheaper 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 it far cheaper and more affordable than other vaccines we have in the market today," Mr. Poonawalla said.
Asked about the efficacy of the vaccine he said that the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is so far proving to work very well even in elderly people, which was a concern earlier.
"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," Mr Poonawalla said.
Mr. Poonawala responding to the questions on the safety aspect, said that there have been no major complaints, reactions, or adverse events, adding, "We would need to wait and see.
The efficacy and immunogenicity results from the Indian trials will come out in about a month-and-a-half."Children would have to wait a little longer till the safety data is out, but the good news is that COVID-19 is not so bad and serious for them, Mr. Poonawalla said.
"Unlike measles pneumonia, which is deadly, this disease is seeming to be less of a nuisance for children but then, they can be carriers and can give the infection to others.
"We want to vaccinate the elderly people and others who are the most vulnerable first. Once we have enough safety data to go in on children, we can recommend it for children too," he said.
"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.
"We have not signed and committed anything else beyond Bangladesh at the moment. We really do not want to partner right now with many countries because we will not have enough stocks to deliver.
"We want to handle India as a priority first and manage Africa at the same time and then help out other countries," he said.
In another session of the summit, the AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Gulera said that there is some talks going on between Pfizer and the Indian government but not much with the Moderna.
"It is going to be a huge challenge as far as the Pfizer vaccine is concerned, considering that it needs a cold chain of minus 70 degrees Celsius," he said and pinned hoped on the vaccines that are at various stages of trial in India.
"We have individuals who are asymptomatic and you can see patches in their lungs at CT scans directly. It really bypasses a person's defence mechanism, which means that you not only have the virus in your nose or throat, but it has gone right into your lungs. A virus which can do that is something we have to be wary of," Dr Guleria said.