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

Coronavirus vaccine could roll out in three to four months, says Serum Institute CEO

Could seek govt nod in December, may cost Rs 500-600: Serum CEO

Poonawalla said that SII is waiting for the approval of the United Kingdom 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. The novel coronavirus has taken the lives of 1,32,162 persons in India.

Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit 2020, Poonawalla said that initial doses will be administered to those who are more vulnerable to the disease, including frontline workers, health officials and the elderly, others would get inoculated by March or April 2021. "So, they will get access to a price, which is similar to what Covax has got.and the general public as I mentioned will have to pay around Rs 500-600".

Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla on Thursday said that India can expect a coronavirus vaccine by December or early next year, the Hindustan Times reported. "Of course, the government of India would be getting it at a far cheaper price, probably around $3-4 [Rs 220-300] because there would be high it in large doses - 100 of millions of doses". The government, which will make bulk purchases, has also negotiated a better price - nearly half that of the likely MRP of Rs 500-600 for the two-shot vaccine, an official source said.

"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.

Poonawalla said the United Kingdom government will share the data on the efficacy of the vaccine in the next two to three weeks.

"We're basing the assumption on emergency licensure based on the positive United Kingdom results".

"If all that goes according to plan, these are the timelines we are looking at".

"At the moment, we're at a 50-60 million dose capacity on a monthly basis as an output".

The firm has already dedicated two facilities towards manufacturing this vaccine and will dedicate two more by February to double its monthly output for both India and COVAX.

At a virtual conference on "COVID-19 vaccine - a global perspective" organised by the JSS Research Foundation, Dr. Jadhav said the trials of Covishield were in the final stages in India.

Serum Institute of India is planning to produce 100 million dosages of vaccines by February 2021.

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