Coronavirus Vaccine: India should have coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year and that the final price of the anti-virus dose will be announced in two months, said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India (SII). The Pune-based firm, which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, is expected to start trials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 soon in India in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
"We should have a vaccine by the end of this year. We will conduct trials in India on a few thousand patients in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)," Poonawalla told CNBC-TV18, adding the final pricing for the vaccine will be announced in two months.
On Friday, the Serum Institute of India had announced the partnership with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to make 100 million doses of the vaccine. SII had said that the Oxford vaccine - called Covishield in India - will be priced at maximum US$ 3 (around Rs 225) per dose for India and low- and middle-income countries.
On the price of the vaccine, he said that $3 is a risk-sharing price for the vaccine.
"$3 is a special price because of the funding we received. Pricing of the vaccine will be slightly higher once licenses are in place. Final pricing for the vaccine will be announced in two months," he added.
The funding will support at-risk manufacturing by SII for candidate vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax, which will be available for procurement if they are successful in attaining full licensure and WHO Prequalification.
Earlier, Poonawalla had said that by the end of August, between 4,000 to 5,000 people in Pune and Mumbai will be injected with the vaccine as part of trials scheduled to last over two month. Poonawalla had said the company plans to manufacture 300 million to 400 million doses by the end of the year.
Serum Institute had also signed a license deal with American company Novavax for the development and commercialisation of NVX‑CoV2373 (Novavax’ COVID‑19 vaccine candidate) in India and low- and middle-income countries.