Serum Institute of India is seeking the drug regulator’s nod for limited use of the vaccine on frontline workers and elderly. (Representational Image, IE)Covishield’ vaccine, one of India’s top contender in its race to defeat the novel coronavirus is ready with its price points for the general public and the government and are also rallying for an emergency use authorization with the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). The vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII) will seek the drug regulator’s nod for limited use of the vaccine on frontline workers and elderly, reported IE.
The vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca in collaboration with SII has shown promising results after being tested on candidates belonging to vulnerable age group, said the medical journal Lancet on Thursday. ‘Covishield’ will enter the market for the general public by March-April 2021, informed the SII CEO, Adar Poonawalla at HT summit.
The private market will sell the vaccine priced between Rs 500 and Rs 600 per dose, informed the CEO. The government on buying in bulk will get the vaccine at Rs 225-Rs 300 per dose. The optimum temperature to store the vaccine id in between 2°C and 8°C. He also assured that the vaccine shots will be much ‘affordable’ and ‘cheaper’ than other vaccines in the market.
Poonawalla said that SII is waiting for the approval of the UK authorities like European EMEA (European Medicines Agency) and MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) before applying to DGCI for emergency use of the vaccine on frontline Covid workers. Poonawalla is eyeing a January-February timeline for vaccinating the vulnerable group after getting a nod from all the authorities and DCGI.
SII is also working to amplify its production capacity to cater to India’ expected requirement of around 300-400 million doses of Covid vaccine by the second quarter next year, said Poonawalla. Currently, the company is working at 50 to 60 million dose capacity per month output. There are two facilities that are manufacturing vaccine and the firm will dedicate two more by February to double the production for India and COVAX mechanism led by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, Poonawalla said.
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