Quixplained: How much will coronavirus vaccines cost in India?

Coronavirus vaccine: India is hosting clinical trials for all the major vaccine contenders. But when will the vaccine be available and at what price will it be offered?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine: India is hosting clinical trials for all the major vaccine contenders. Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is conducting trials for the vaccine developed by Oxford University. Drugmaker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has announced that it will distribute 100 million (10 crore) doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in India after conducting final-stage human trials and receiving regulatory clearances here. Bharat Biotech International Ltd is at the second-phase human trial stage and Zydus Cadila is in the process to receive approvals for conducting third-phase clinical trials.

India has asked the developers to disclose estimates of the price at which their respective vaccines can be made available. “Pricing is perhaps complex because some of them (candidate vaccines) are at an early stage (of development). This information will be refined as we move along. There is no firm information. But we have asked about the price range (of the potential vaccines) from individual manufacturers,” NITI Aayog member V K Paul, who also heads the national expert group on vaccine administration said.

Globally, there are 182 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials. Of these, 36 are in clinical trials and nine in final states of human trials. In India, there are at least eight candidates being developed, two of which have entered phase II trials. But what are the vaccines that can be made available in India and at what price will they be offered?

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