New Year’s gift? COVID-19 vaccine drive in India may start from January
COVID-19 vaccine is now a forceful weapon that will provide a major boost in the fight against the infectionImage source: AFP

New Year’s gift? COVID-19 vaccine drive in India may start from January

The Serum Institute of India on Monday declared the launch of India's first and the only indigenous vaccine against pneumonia.

Pune: Serum Institute of India developing the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the country on Monday said that the vaccine rollout may start in January. The vaccine emerged as the head in the race and is likely to be approved for emergency use in India soon.

Poonawalla in his media briefing on Monday said, “With preparations underway for a rollout, the Indian drug regulator is looking at the United Kingdom before deciding on giving emergency use. The vaccine will be licensed in January.” “First six months there will be a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines but after six months next year normal life could return,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India on Monday declared the launch of India's first and the only indigenous vaccine against pneumonia. The product Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine was launched on Monday.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India along with Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Cyrus S Poonawalla, Chairman and Managing Director, Serum Institute of India and Dr Rajeev Dhere, Executive Director, SII were present during the virtual event.

India's drug regulator in July had decided market approval for the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate vaccine. It was reviewed in phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trial data submitted by the firm. Pneumonia a respiratory disease requires attention, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak, which is why the presence of such a vaccine is very relevant. The pharma giant has conducted phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials of the vaccine in India and African nation Gambia.

Adar Poonawalla while informing about the pneumonia vaccine said, "It is the first vaccine made in India to protect children against pneumonia in the country. It is also the most affordable vaccine for pneumonia, in the whole world."

When asked about the price of the vaccine, Poonawalla said, “The vaccine will cap for 3 dollars (Rs 220) per dose for government to provide doses while it will be capped at 12 dollars (Rs 882) per dose for the private.”

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