Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla on Thursday said the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine should be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by around February 2021 and by April for the general public, and will be priced at a maximum of ₹ 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public, depending on the final trial results and regulatory approvals.
Probably by 2024, every Indian will get vaccinated, he said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS), 2020.
“It will probably take two or three years for every Indian to get inoculated, not just because of the supply constraints but because you need the budget, the vaccine, logistics, infrastructure and then, people should be willing to take the vaccine. So these are the factors that lead up to being able to vaccinate 80-90 per cent of the population.
“It will be 2024 for everybody, if willing to take a two-dose vaccine, to be vaccinated,” Mr Poonawalla said.
Asked at what price the public will get it, he said it will be around USD 5-6 per dose with an MRP of around ₹ 1,000 for the two necessary doses.
“The government of India will be getting it at a far cheaper price at around USD 3-4, because it will be buying in a large volume and get access to the price that is similar to what COVAX has got. We are still pricing it far cheaper and more affordable than other vaccines we have in the market today,” Mr Poonawalla said.
Asked about the efficacy of the vaccine, he said the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is so far proving to work very well even in elderly people, which was a concern earlier.