“These vaccine doses will be manufactured and stockpiled by M/s Biological-E from August-December 2021,” the ministry had said in a statement…reports Asian Lite News.
Biological E’s made-in-India Covid-19 vaccine has shown very promising results in the initial trials and could have similar efficacy as that of US’ Novavax vaccine because of having a similar platform, Dr N K Arora, chief of the Centre’s Covid working group has said.
On Monday, Novavax announced that NVX-CoV2373, its recombinant nanoparticle protein-based Covid-19 vaccine that Serum Institute of India is locally manufacturing as Covovax, has demonstrated 100% protection against moderate and severe disease, and an overall efficacy of 90.4%.
“Biological E’s vaccine is being developed on a similar platform and that is why we are hopeful that it will also have around 90% or above efficacy. If trials go as planned, we should have the vaccine out for use by October this year,” Arora said.
The cost of the vaccine could be as low as Rs 250 per two doses.
“That is the estimated price that is being talked about but the final price could be different,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Union health ministry announced that it had finalised arrangements with the Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer to reserve 300 million doses, even though the results of the phase I/II trials are yet to be made public and phase III trials are still underway.
“These vaccine doses will be manufactured and stockpiled by M/s Biological-E from August-December 2021,” the ministry had said in a statement.
Dr Arora said he believed there is a strong chance that the world will ultimately depend on India for affordable and effective vaccines against Covid-19.
Heaping praise on the Indian pharmaceutical industry, naming those such as Pune-based Serum Institute and Ahemdabad-based Cadilla Pharma, he expressed excitement about some of their products which could potentially change the dynamics of the battle against the pandemic.
“This may sound presumptuous. Ultimately the world will be dependent on us for vaccines. It is very premature, very presumptuous,” Dr Arora said, his assertion predicated on India’s own requirements being fulfilled first.