“The Government of India will be getting it at a far cheaper rate, probably around $3-4 because they’ll be buying very huge volumes of hundreds of millions of doses. So they’ll get the access to the price which is similar to what COVAX has got, which is $3 and the general public probably have to pay around Rs 500- Rs 600,” Poonawalla said.
The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume is in a pact with the co-developer of the vaccine, British firm AstraZeneca plc. for manufacturing of about 1 billion doses of the vaccine and its distribution and sale in India and other low- and Middle-income countries.
Poonawalla on Thursday also said that the company plans to apply for an emergency use authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India VG Somani for its vaccine next month, and get the regulatory greenlight in January. The process, however, is contingent on robust efficacy data from Astrazeneca’s trials in the UK, which is expected by the end of this month.
“We’re basing the assumption of an emergency licensure based on positive UK results. So these are the caveats. That if we get good UK result end of November or early December, we apply for an emergency licensure use. So you have the vaccine for the vulnerable populations by January or February. And then by March or April, for the general public,” Poonawalla said, adding that if any of these milestones get delayed, then Serum’s own plans could be delayed.