India's COVID-19 vaccine: When will mass production start and who will get it first?

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country, scientists and researchers are leaving no effort to develop a vaccine. There are more than 150 candidate vaccines in various stages of testing around the world. India is working on three vaccines for COVID-19 to fight the virus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his 74th Independence Day speech: "One, two or three Coronavirus vaccines are being tested in India."

Currently, there are two candidate vaccines in phase I and II human clinical trials in India. Bharat BioTech, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) have developed the first COVID-19 vaccine in India. Another vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila.

Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India received approval to initiate the second and third stages of human clinical trials of the candidate vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca in India. A Swedish-British company has partnered with IBS to manufacture a vaccine for India and low- and middle-income countries.

India COVID-19 vaccine

When will we have a COVID-19 vaccine?

When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, the question that comes to everyone's mind:  when will a vaccine be ready? In response to this question, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday: "When scientists give us the green signal, it will be produced on a large scale and all preparations have been made for that."

"I want to tell people, the talent of our scientists is like the talent of  'rishi munis', and they work hard in the labs," Modi said while addressing the nation on Independence Day.

Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that India has prepared a roadmap "to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine reaches everyone in the shortest time possible."

Federal Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said on Saturday that scientists are working hard on a vaccine against the Coronavirus, and if their efforts bear fruit, Covid-19 warriors will be the first to receive the dose.

"Our scientists are working hard on that. There are three COVID-19 vaccines in different stages of testing. If we can get a vaccine, the COVID-19 warriors will be the first to get the dose," Chobe added. 

What will be the price of the vaccine?

The SII earlier said that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $ 150 million to manufacture 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and low- and middle-income countries. Under this agreement, the Pune-based company can charge a maximum of $ 3 per dose for two COVID-19 vaccines.

When asked about the price of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine in India, Adar Poonawalla, Executive Director of the Serum Institute of India, said last month: "It is too early to comment on the price of the vaccine. However, we will keep it under 1,000 per dose."

He added that the COVID-19 vaccine is very likely to require two or more doses, as in the case of the antidote to measles and other diseases, according to a report issued by PTI.

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