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100 million doses by January: Adar Poonawalla on Oxford COVID vaccine

Twitter: @adarpoonawalla

A minimum of 100 million doses of Covishield, a coronavirus vaccine that was said to be 90 per cent effective under certain conditions will be available by January, NDTV reported. Hundreds of million could be ready by the end of February, Adar Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India said.

He explained a single dose (two are recommended at this stage) will cost up to Rs 1,000 if purchased from the pharmacy, but the government will buy 90 per cent of the supply at Rs 250 per dose.


Poonawalla said around 40 million doses had already been produced.

“It will be another two-three month for the vaccine to be available in India. By January we will have 100 million doses, minimum. The target set by the government is 300 to 400 million doses by July. We are putting an MRP of Rs 1,000 for the private market it will be around Rs 500 or 600 (+Rs 200 for the distributor) and Rs 250 or less for the government.” Poonawalla said.

He added that 10 per cent expected to be released to the private market is unlikely to be available before March, making vaccine distribution the preserve of the government till then. The delay, he said, would be because of time needed to complete licensing formalities.

“Till then the general public is not likely to get it easily. They will have to go to government distribution points and, if they are eligible, then they will get it. Otherwise, they have to wait till March… because the priority is to vaccine our most vulnerable,” Poonawalla told NDTV.

Yesterday, pharma giant AstraZeneca, who developed the vaccine candidate jointly with the University of Oxford, said it could be around 90 per cent effective when administered over two doses separated by a month. This is based on data from trials in Britain and Brazil.