India top priority for vaccine, 100 mn doses by January: Serum CEO

Adar Poonawalla

New Delhi: Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla has assured that he will focus on supplying the much-anticipated vaccine against coronavirus to India first.

Serum Institute has tied up with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to mass-produce the Covishield vaccine to fight back Covid-19 virus.

“It’s very important we take care of our country first, then go on to Covax after that and then other bilateral deals with countries. So I’ve kept it in that priority,” he told reporters.

A minimum of 100 million doses of Covishield – a coronavirus vaccine that on Monday morning was said to be 90 per cent effective under certain conditions – will be available by January and hundreds of million could be ready by the end of February, Adar Poonawalla said.

A single dose (two are recommended at this stage) will cost up to Rs 1,000 if purchased from the pharmacy, but the government will buy 90 per cent of the supply at Rs 250 per dose, he added.


NT Bureau