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Home >News >India >COVID-19 vaccine: 4 candidates start final trial. How much will coronavirus vaccine cost?

The medical researchers and scientists are racing against time to develop a vaccine to against deadly novel coronavirus that has infected more than 1.5 crore people across the globe. At present, there are four vaccine candidates in the final stage of trials. One of the most promising of them is the one developed by Oxford University in collaboration with AstraZeneca. Officially dubbed as AZD1222, Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine has shown positive results in the initial trial. The vaccine candidate is safe and prompts protective immune response, according to a report in The Lancet.

British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has partnered with Serum Institute of India (SII) to produce the vaccine in India and middle and low-income countries. The Pune-based firm already sought permission from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to start the advanced trial in India. The phase II trial of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine will start next month. "According to the application, it would conduct an observer-blind, randomised controlled study to determine the safety and immunogenicity of 'Covishield' in healthy Indian adults," news agency PTI reported.

But how much will it cost?

When asked about the price of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine, Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of SII, said "It is too early to comment on the vaccine’s price. However, we will keep it under 1,000 per dose."

He further added it is extremely likely that the COVID-19 vaccine would require two or more doses, like in the case of antidotes for measles and other diseases. "I don’t think any citizen of India or of any other country is going to have to pay for it because it is going to be bought by the government and distributed free," Poonawalla told PTI.

Pfizer Inc has also entered the final stage of clinical human trial on Monday. If the study is successful, the companies could submit the vaccine for regulatory approval as early as October, putting them on track to supply up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

Developed by Pfizer and German firm BioNTech, this COVID-19 vaccine utilizes chemical messenger RNA to mimic the surface of the coronavirus and teach the immune system to recognize and neutralize it.

Pfizer has already has an agreement to sell 100 million doses of its vaccine to the US government and give it the option to buy 500 million more, if the vaccine is effective.

"The deal secures enough vaccine to inoculate 50 million Americans for about $40 a person, or about the cost of annual flu shots, and is the first to provide a direct window into likely pricing of successful COVID-19 vaccines," the news agency Reuters reported.

Over 150 vaccines are being developed against COVID-19 across the world. Moderna Inc also launched an advanced stage trial with 30,000 participants on Monday.

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