100 million doses of Oxford vaccine to be available in India by January, says Adar Poonawalla
He said around 40 million doses had already been produced and that the Centre would buy 90 per cent of these doses for Rs 250 or less
Adar Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India has said that a minimum of 100 million doses of Covishield - a coronavirus vaccine that this morning was said to be 90 per cent effective - will be available by January and hundreds of million could be ready by the end of February, a report carried by NDTV.com said.
Poonawalla, whose company has an agreement with the government to mass-manufacture the Covid vaccine, said around 40 million doses had already been produced and that the Centre would buy 90 per cent of these doses for Rs 250 or less. He added that the rest will be sold for between Rs 500 and Rs 600 per dose for the private market.
"It will be another two-three months for the vaccine to be available in India. By January we will have 100 million doses, minimum. The target set by the government is 300 to 400 million doses by July,” Poonawalla said.
He also said that the 10 per cent that is expected to be released to the private market was unlikely to be available before March, making vaccine distribution the preserve of the government till then.
"Till then the general public is not likely to get it easily. They will have to go to government distribution points and, if they are eligible, then they will get it. Otherwise they have to wait till March... because the priority is to vaccine our most vulnerable," Poonawalla said.
He also pointed out that the delay in release to the private market would also be because of the time needed to complete licensing formalities. All prices are per dose, he added, noting that the recommended course at this stage is two-a half dose followed by a full dose in a month's time.