Home / News / India /  COVID-19 vaccine may be ready by December, to be available in market by March: SII official

India may get a COVID-19 vaccine by March, 2021, revealed Dr Suresh Jadhav, executive director, Serum Institute of India. “India may get COVID-19 vaccine by March 2021 provided the regulators signal with the processes fast as multiple manufacturers are working on it," Dr Jadhav said at the India Vaccine Accessibility e-Summit organised by HEAL Foundation in association with ICCIDD.

"India is heading fast towards vaccine development as two manufacturers are already in phase-3 trial and one in the phase-2 trial, while more players are joining the race," the Indian Express quoted Jadhav as saying. Serum Institute of India can produce 700-800 million vaccine dosages every year once things are streamlined, he added.

Pune-based drug maker signed a deal with British-Swedish company AstraZeneca to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed by the University of Oxford. The final stage of the clinical trial of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine has already started in the country.

Dubbed as AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, the vaccine is arecombinant viral vector vaccine. It uses a weakened version of a chimpanzee common coldvirus that encodes instructions for making proteins from the novel coronavirus to generate an immune response and prevent infection. The vaccine is likely to provide protection for about a year, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in June. According to a report published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, the COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55.

Serum Institute of India will be ready with 60-70 million dosages of vaccines by December 2020 but that will come in the market in 2021 after the clearance of licensing, added Dr Jadav. Healthcare workers should get the vaccines first, followed by people over 60 years of age with comorbidities and the rest of the populace, he stated.

"The end of the year target for getting vaccine roll-out, it's a possibility but there's absolutely no certainty about that because we need three things to happen," Sarah Gilbert earlier told.

Serum Institute of India will make up to 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for poorer countries, including India, next year, as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI vaccines alliance have doubled their funding, the company said. The collaboration takes forward an initial agreement signed in August by Serum, GAVI and the Gates Foundation for 100 million doses to be priced at a maximum of $3 each.

The total funding provided is now $300 million, and the expanded collaboration also has an option for the provision of additional doses as needed.

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