The COVID-19 vaccine, designed and developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, will cost under Rs 1,000 per shot, said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India. Serum Institute of India, which has pledged to make 1 billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jointly formed COVID-19 vaccine, has already said that the human trials in India will begin next month while the production could start as early as first quarter next year.
"We will keep it under Rs 1,000," Poonawalla said on the subject of the price for the vaccine, "having said that, our aim is to provide an efficacious and affordable vaccine. We are certain that it will be procured and distributed by governments without charge."Mr Poonawala has said that 50 per cent of the vaccine doses that will be manufactured by his firm will be supplied to India, and the rest will be given to other countries. Earlier, Adar Poonawalla had said that the firm is seeking approval from the DCGI to conduct phase 3 trials of the vaccine in India.
The production of the doses will also begin shortly. He further added, "the vaccine developed by Oxford University is a viral vector type that uses a harmless virus to deliver the genetic material of a pathogen into cells, which is then supposed to create an immune response against the original pathogen. A chimpanzee adenovirus (a common cold virus) has been used by Gilbert and her team to be the carrier. Tricking the immune system to fight back COVID-19, the harmless virus has been inserted with the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ genetic material."Poonawalla clarified that the Serum Institute is "well-equipped with state-of-the-art technology to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine."