The Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is making great headway against other companies, is likely to be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by around February 2021 and by April for the general public, said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.
The maximum price of the vaccine will be capped at ₹ 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public, said the head of SII, which is the Indian collaborator of the Oxford vaccine. It will further depend on the final trial results and regulatory approvals.
Every Indian will get vaccinated probably by 2024, said Adar while speaking at a media conference.
“It will probably take two or three years for every Indian to get inoculated, not just because of the supply constraints but because you need the budget, the vaccine, logistics, infrastructure, and then, people should be willing to take the vaccine. So these are the factors that lead up to being able to vaccinate 80-90 percent of the population,” he said.
The government, however, can procure the vaccine at a far cheap price because it will buy at a large volume.
The government will get access to a price that is similar to what COVAX has got. “We are still pricing it far cheaper and more affordable than other vaccines we have in the market today,” Mr. Poonawalla said.
Talking about the efficacy of the vaccine, he said it is so far proving to work very well even in elderly people, which was a concern earlier.
The Oxford vaccine is not only the most effective but also affordable, safe, and could be stored at a temperature of two to eight degrees Celsius. It is an ideal temperature for it to be stored in the cold storages of India. SII plans to make about 10 crore doses per month from February.