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SII vaccine will be the cheapest Covid vaccine, says Adar Poonawalla

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Adar Poonawala, CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII), said on Thursday that the SII Oxford Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine will be cheaper than the Pfizer, Moderna and COVAX vaccines.

The SII vaccine will be around $5-6 per dose with an MRP of around Rs 1,000 for the two doses. The final price will be decided, depending on the final trial results and regulatory approvals.

"The Government of India will be getting it at a far cheaper price at around $3-4 because it will be buying in a large volume and get access to the price that is similar to what COVAX has got. We are still far cheaper and more affordable than other vaccines we have in the market today," Poonawalla said at the Hindustan Times leadership event.

Poonawalla said the Oxford Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine should be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by February 2021 and by April for the general public. Probably, every Indian will get vaccinated for Covid-19 by 2024, Poonawalla said.

Poonawalla said it will probably take two or three years for every Indian to get inoculated, not just because of the supply constraints but also because buying vaccines needs a budget for the vaccine, logistics, infrastructure, and also that people should be willing to take the vaccine.