Covid-19 Vaccine: Want to make vaccine at lowest price for poor, says Serum Institute’s Cyrus Poonawalla

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Updated: Jul 23, 2020 7:51 AM

Coronavirus Vaccine: Besides India, we also want to make it available in underdeveloped countries in Africa, Poonawalla said. The government has promised to grant over Rs 1,000 crore for the same, he added.

According to Poonawalla, India is set to become the largest producer of Covid vaccine in the world.According to Poonawalla, India is set to become the largest producer of Covid vaccine in the world. (Representative image)

Coronavirus Vaccine: Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Poonawalla Group, which includes the Serum Institute of India (SII), said he wanted to make the Covid-19 vaccine available at the lowest price possible so that even the poor can afford it.

Besides India, we also want to make it available in underdeveloped countries in Africa, Poonawalla said. The government has promised to grant over Rs 1,000 crore for the same, he added.

We are committed to produce one billion of Covid vaccine doses after getting approvals, Poonawalla said. “Just few million doses of vaccine for coronavirus will not be enough in India,” Poonawalla said.

“We will start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes. For that, we might have to hold back our work on other products,” he added.

According to Poonawalla, India is set to become the largest producer of Covid vaccine in the world.

Serum is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by doses. It has partnered with Oxford University and its partner AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine and our emphasis is to make the vaccine more efficacious and safer with no side-effects, he said.

As the Phase 1 of the clinical trial has been done and Phase 2 and 3 is being done in Austria, Poonawalla said that the testing parameters of the vaccine is underway and will be released soon and the vaccine will be ready by December this year.

“We have come at a stage, where chances of failure look remote. We are spending more than $100 million for this facility. If we get the approvals and trials are completed successfully for safety and efficacy then lots of companies will manufacture the vaccine,” Poonawalla said.

Poonawalla was speaking during an online discussion organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), Pune Chapter in presence of FLO members including Jahnabi Pookhan, national president and Aneeta Sanas, chairperson, FLO Pune Chapter.

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