Covid-19 vaccine tracking: Oxford vaccine likely to roll out in Jan-Feb in India for frontline workers at half of MRP
Oxford vaccine: By late January or early February, India is most likely to get the first lot of Covid-19 vaccines that will be used for frontline workers, including healthcare personnel and municipal staff. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s availability will be possible as the Pune based Serum Institute of India is to get the approval for vaccine’s emergency use soon after the candidate gets approved in the UK.
Serum Institute is required to separately apply for vaccine’s emergency use and is expected to register for the same in December. Government is meanwhile in talks with the manufacturers for vaccine procurement and finalize on a contract. The bulk purchase has enabled the Centre to strike a better deal under which the two-shot vaccine will be available most likely at MRP of INR 500-600.
Indian regulatory bodies have relayed that Bharat Biotech is soon to submit data of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, which is in phase 3 trials currently. Once the phase I and II trials data are submitted, the vaccine can be approved for emergency use. In that case both the vaccines can be most likely be available by February in India.
An official told, “If everything goes as per plan and the company (SII) manages to secure emergency authorisation in December, we are expecting the first lot of vaccines by January-February and the first set of beneficiaries has been identified.”
Initially limited stocks of Covid-19 vaccines are expected to be available by January end that would be given to around 70 lakh healthcare professionals and over 2 crore frontline workers such as police, municipal workers. Estimate is that around 50-60 crore vaccine doses would be needed to administer 25-30 crore priority population which are divided into four groups.
Centre is formulizing reference terms for two bodies that are dealing with Covid-19 vaccine introduction for granting emergency authorization. These bodies are National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and Central Drug Standards and Control Organisation.
Official has said, “If Serum Institute submits its efficacy data from UK and applies for emergency authorization here, it can easily be granted. But even in case of Bharat Biotech, if the company applies for emergency use approval after its data from phase 1 and 2 are published, the regulator can consider the same.”