Harsh Vardhan, Union health minister said on 14th September that COVID-19 vaccine launch is not yet finalized but expected to be ready by the first quarter of next year. Adar Poonawalla warned that this might not be possible as it is estimated that the production and supply of the Coronavirus vaccine will take more than four years.
The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer says that there is a need of more than 15 billion vaccine doses required if there are two shot doses per person. This very clearly indicates that it will take at least four to five years till end of 2024 for any development in the context of manufacturing as well as reaching the masses, says the Pune-based Adar Poonawalla.
The pharmaceutical company in Pune has partnered with five international pharma firms that include Novavax and AstraZeneca, to produce a Covid-19 vaccine and committed to making one billion shots, of which it has promised to give 50% to India.
Everyone wants to stay positive and optimistic, but a billion doses is a massive commitment as per the capacity, when there is no news of the final vaccine.
The Financial Times also reported that as part of SII’s agreement with Novavax, the firm would aim to produce vaccine doses that cost around $3 for 92 countries and under its agreement with AstraZeneca, for 68 countries.
The company is in talks to partner with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute to manufacture the Sputnik vaccine, according to sources.
After the human trials resumed in the UK last week the Oxford vaccine gives optimistic hope to see the vaccine soon. But there has already been a delay due to a volunteer who fell sick which made the SII stop the trials post the Drug Controller of India issued a show-cause notice.