Covishield for COVID-19 could cost Rs 500: Serum CEO

Daniel Fowler
November 23, 2020

The private market will sell the vaccine priced between Rs 500 and Rs 600 per dose, informed the CEO.

Mr. Poonawalla's comments came shortly after AstraZeneca said on Monday its vaccine could be around 90% effective, giving the world's fight against the pandemic a new weapon, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale up than rivals.

Following the announcement, the 39-year-old Poonawalla who has been headlining through the pandemic and sharing updates on the efforts made at the Serum Institute, took to Twitter to share his excitement.

"As soon as the United Kingdom authorities, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and the European EMEA (European Medicines Agency) approve 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", Poonawalla also said.

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Poonawalla said the vaccine would cost Rs 500 to Rs 600 for the public. He added that the company is having discussions with Indian government about purchase agreement for the vaccine. He also said that further details on this development will be provided this evening.

"Nothing is signed yet, but we're close to a deal with the EU Commission". "We don't want to partner with many other countries and form bilaterals because we won't have enough stock to give".

On the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine, Guleria said the percentage of population to be inoculated will depend on the number of vaccines getting the regulatory approvals and the number of shots they are producing. AstraZeneca said one dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90 per cent when the vaccine was given as a half-dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart, while another dosing regimen showed 62 per cent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart. A minimum of 100 million doses will be available by January and hundreds of million could be ready by the end of February, Mr Poonawalla said.

He further said the coronavirus goes into the lungs without making a person symptomatic.

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