“Indians should have Coronavirus vaccine by year-end”

11th August 2020

11th August 2020

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum which is doing trials on vaccine

Indians should have the answer to raging Coronavirus pandemic by December-end in the form of the vaccine, developed by Serum Institute of India (SII), its CEO Adar Poonawalla said here today.

The Pune-based firm is expected to begin trials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 n CoV-19—called Covishield vaccine in India--in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

“We should have a vaccine by the end of the year. We will conduct trials in India on a few thousand patients in partnership with the ICMR", Poonawalla told CNBC-TV18.

Poonawalla added that the company plans to manufacture 300-400 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year.

He clarified that the final pricing for Covishield vaccine would be announced in two months’ time. The SII had earlier announced that the vaccine would be priced around US $3 (Rs 225 approx) per dose in low and middle-income countries.

The company has also entered a deal with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi and The Vaccine Alliance, to advance the manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of future Covid-19 vaccines in India and low and middle-income countries in 2021.

The firm had earlier revealed that up to 5,000 people in Pune and Mumbai would be injected with the vaccine by August-end, as part of trials which could last up to two months.

Serum also has a license deal with an American company, Novavax for the development and commercialization of the latter’s vaccine in India and other countries.

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