The Oxford vaccine will be sold for Rs 200 per dose to the government while it will be available for Rs 1,000 for the general public, Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of Serum Institute of India, was quoted as saying by a TV channel on Sunday.
His comments come after the country’s drug regulator cleared its Covishield vaccine for emergency approval in India. Poonawalla said that Covishield vaccine, developed by Serum Institute of India in partnership with the Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca, is “safe and effective” against coronavirus.
According to Poonawalla, his firm is making between 50 and 60 million doses a month of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, which is cheaper than the Pfizer-BioNTech jab and easier to store and transport. He said that his company is waiting to get into an agreement with the government and added that the vaccine will be rolled out in the next 7-10 days.
Poonawalla said that Serum Institute has the capacity to manufacture 5,000 doses of vaccine per minute and already 40 to 50 million doses of the vaccine is ready for dispatch. Speaking on exporting Oxford vaccine to other countries, Poonawalla said that his company is in bilateral agreement with Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and 66 other countries and will also look towards exporting the vaccine to them soon after India’s vaccination drive is in advanced stage.