Indian central government has claimed that India will have access to over 2 billion doses of eight Covid-19 vaccines between August and December, making them available for everyone. Out of these eight, two – Covishield and Covaxin – are already in circulation.
Indian government has said that it hopes to procure over 2 billion doses of 8 Covid vaccines by December.
India is currently facing the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the second wave has crushed the health care system, the scarcity of vaccines has robbed people of the hope of keeping the virus at bay. But if the government is to be believed, then all this could change by the end of the year.
Indian government claimed that the Covid-19 vaccine will be available for the entire Indian population by December. The government said that India will have access to over 2 billion doses of eight Covid-19 vaccines between August and December.
“Over two billion doses will be made in the country in five months [August to December] for India and for the people of India. Vaccine will be available for all as we move forward,” VK Paul, Niti Aayog member (health), told the media.
According to the details shared by the health ministry officials, the estimated 216 crore doses that are likely to be produced between August and December include 75 crore doses of Covishield and 55 cores doses of Covaxin.
Further, Biological E is expected to produce 30 crore doses, Zydus Cadila 5 crore, Serum Institute of India 20 crore doses of Novavax, and Bharat Biotech 10 crore doses of its nasal vaccine, while Gennova will make available 6 crore doses and Sputnik V 15.6 crore doses, the officials said.
While Covishield and Covaxin are already in circulation in India, Sputnik is expected to be available to the public by next week.
The vaccine candidates of Biological E, Zydus Cadila, Gennova, and Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine are in various stages of clinical trials. Novavax, being produced by the Serum Institute, is also currently undergoing phase-2/3 trials in India.
Once the trials are over, people in India should be able to pick the vaccine they want to get. But more choices come with more confusion. So, here’s a guide for you to understand the various vaccines, their efficacy, variant coverage and expected price.
Covishield, the Serum Institute of India’s version of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford, is being most widely used in India's immunisation drive.
According to studies, the vaccine has an efficacy of up to 90 per cent, if the two doses are stretched over two to three months. Efficacy refers to the degree of protection that a vaccine offers against a disease after successful vaccination.
The Serum Institute is currently selling Covishield to Centre at Rs 150 per dose and to the state governments Rs 300. The rate for private players is Rs 600 per dose. Private hospitals are charging anywhere between Rs 700 and Rs 900 for the vaccine dose to the age group of 18-44, after factoring in the transportation cost, administering charges, GST and vaccine wastage.
Research has indicated that Covishield is effective against the British, Brazilian and Indian strains of Covid-19 virus. Its efficacy against the South African strain is a subject of study in India. However, phase-3 clinical trial results published in The New England Journal for Medicine on March 16 show that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is only 10 per cent effective against the South African variant.
Indian pharmaceutical firm, Bharat Biotech has been keeping up with a limited but steady supply of Covaxin. The ingenious vaccine, initially criticised for getting emergency approval without phase 3 data, has now been commended by international researchers for its efficacy and variant coverage.
According to studies, Covaxin is 81 per cent effective against the virus and capable of neutralising UK, Indian and Brazilian variants. Its efficacy against the South African virus is also under study.
Bharat Biotech is currently selling the vaccine to the Centre at Rs 150, while the states are shelling out Rs 400 per dose. The rate for private players is significantly higher as they are being asked to pay Rs 1200 for each dose of Covaxin. Private hospitals are charging patients between Rs 1250 and Rs 1350 for a Covaxin jab.
Also read | 0.04% people tested Covid-19 positive after 2nd dose of Covaxin, 0.03% after Covishield: Govt
Developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, Sputnik V is the third coronavirus vaccine to be approved for use in India after Covishield and Covaxin. While the first batch of 1.5 lakh doses has arrived in India from Russia, the second batch is expected on Friday.
After the initial imports, the vaccine will be manufactured in India at five labs under the supervision of Dr Reddy's Laboratories.
The imported doses of the vaccine are presently priced at a maximum retail price of Rs 948, with 5 per cent GST per dose, with the possibility of a lower price point when local supply begins.
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, to be administered in two doses, is 91.6 per cent effective in preventing people from developing Covid-19. The recommended gap between two doses of Sputnik V is 21 days.
The soft launch of the Covid vaccine Sputnik V has commenced and the first dose of the vaccine was administered in Hyderabad, the drug firm said in a statement on Friday.
Source: India Today