While most of us, who have the luxury of, confined to our homes and wondering when will the world come back to Normal. (The “Normal” is questionable but let’s leave it for some other day.) We desperately wait for the arrival of the vaccine.
Countries that have money to bet on the success of a vaccine under development have secured rights to first doses. Like America has secured 800 million doses of vaccine for a population of 350 million people. Something we call vaccine nationalism.
What is happening in India with vaccine development? How will we get it? Will it be provided to everyone? Or certain individuals will be prioritised first? Will we have to pay for it or the government will provide it for free?
Here’s a short story first.
Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that's what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle. @PMOIndia— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) September 26, 2020
That’s Adar Poonawala, CEO and Owner of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. Serum Institute is also conducting human trials of the vaccine developed by Oxford University in India.
That’s Ashwani Mahajan, Co-convener of Swadesh Jagran Manch, the ideological partner behind the economic policies of Modi government.
We share and applaud your vision @narendramodi ji, on providing vaccines to the global community. It is a proud moment for India, thank you for your leadership and support. It is clear that all your arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people. https://t.co/b57TH8fDSB— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) September 27, 2020
That’s Adar again, the next day. Story ends.
Coming back to vaccine development in India, apart from Serum Institute, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is conducting human trials of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine and has announced that after conducting final-stage human trials and receiving regulatory clearances here.
Bharat Biotech International Ltd is at the second-phase human trial stage and Zydus Cadila is in the process to receive approvals for conducting third-phase clinical trials.
The Indian government has asked vaccine developers to reveal the price at which their vaccines can be made available. NITI Aayog member V K Paul, who also heads the national expert group on vaccine administration said:
Pricing is perhaps complex because some of them (candidate vaccines) are at an early stage (of development). This information will be refined as we move along. There is no firm information. But we have asked about the price range (of the potential vaccines) from individual manufacturers.
The Indian Express, by using statements by the companies and their deals with some countries, has drawn some indications. According to Express, Novavax, which is being developed by the Serum Institute will cost ₹240 if 100 million doses are ordered.
Another vaccine under trials by Serum Institute is the one developed by Oxford/Asterazenaca, which should cost less than ₹1000. The Indian Express hasn’t drawn any indication for the Russian vaccine and other vaccines mentioned above.