India based Serum Institute has assured to provide the Covid-19 vaccine for less than 1000 Rupees. The vaccine which is in the final stage of the clinical trial will be made available across the country in the first quarter of 2021 said the CEO of Serum Institute India Mr Adar Poonawalla.
According to Mr Poonawala the vaccine can be made available in the most vulnerable and remotest corners of the country provided that regulatory approvals fast tracked for the vaccine. “We can reach to the most vulnerable and remotest corner of the country and this can be achieved by strengthening the healthcare infrastructure, revisiting the healthcare policies, fast tracking regulatory approvals while complying with necessary trials and tests,” sand Mr Poonawalla.
According to the reports, medical journal Lancet on Monday published the findings from early trials which showed the coronavirus vaccine, being developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca, (Covishield in India) safe and capable of inducing an immune response. The Serum Institute is one of AstraZeneca’s partners in manufacturing the vaccine in India.
In an interview with Anupama Ramakrishnan of Deccan Herald, Adar Poonawalla had put the light on the phases of clinical trials, the affordability of the vaccine and the Serum Institute’s plans for their own vaccines.
“The vaccine is branded as Covishield. We are hopeful that it will be a well-treated and immunogenic vaccine, efficacious for mass use. Once we get necessary regulatory approvals, we will start manufacturing in large volumes. Based on the success of the trials we are expecting to launch it by the end of this year. I believe by the first quarter of the next year it will start reaching the masses,” he said.
According to company’s deal with Indian Government, we will be producing one billion doses over the next one year for India and other low-and-middle-income countries (GAVI countries). “Following the success of the trials and licensure trials, we will manufacture about 60-70 million doses per month (which might stretch to 100 million doses later). With this, we are looking to manufacture around 300-400 million doses by the end of this year,” Mr Poonawalla added.
According to Mr Poonawalla, his company is working on two of their own vaccines and the same is scheduled to be released by end of 2021 “We are also conducting Phase-III trials of the recombinant BCG vaccine shots to improve the innate ability to fight the virus and reduce the severity of COVID-19 in India. This is an extremely safe vaccine since it is given to new-born babies and we have been selling this in more than 100 countries worldwide for many decades. Based on our trials, we will be certain on the efficacy and viability of the vaccine, post which we will initiate the mass production of the vaccine. In addition, the Codagenix vaccine candidate is in the pre-trial phase and we are expecting it to progress soon. It may enter human trials towards the end of the year.”