New Delhi: As the trial of the coronavirus vaccine is progressing at a rapid pace, the expectation of an approved vaccine becoming available in the Indian market by early 2021 is increasing. Bernstein said this in a report.
Fast work is being done on four vaccines
Currently, there are four potential vaccines globally, which are expected to be approved by the end of 2020 or early 2021. Two of these have been partnered by India for the vaccine ‘AstraZeneca and Oxford’s viral vector vaccine’ and ‘Novavax’s protein subunit vaccine’.
According to the report, “Phase I and Phase II trials for both these vaccines enhance safety and immunity response seems reliable. We are optimistic that an approved vaccine will be available in the market in India in the first quarter of 2021.”
Bernstein said that the cost of the vaccine can range from three to six dollars (Rs 225 to 550) and it may take up to two years to develop collective immunity due to implementation difficulties. The reason for this is the lack of experience in mass vaccination.
According to the report, India has two experiences of large-scale vaccination. One was the 2011 Polia Eradication Campaign and the other was the recent intensive Mission Indradhanush (IMI), but their level was one-third of the level required for the Covid-19.
India will face challenges
Bernstein said that the number of cold stores and lack of skilled labour is two major challenges. Even assuming that the pace of implementation will be twice as much as before, it will still take 18 to 20 months for the government program to be implemented.
He said, ‘We believe that initially vaccines will be made available to sensitive groups like health workers and people above 65 years of age etc. After this, the vaccine can be given to people engaged in essential services and to the economically poor.’
According to the report, Novavax vaccine is giving better results than AstraZeneca and Oxford. Both have given good results in the first two phases and are now in the third phase. For this, a person will need to give two doses in an interval of 21 to 28 days.
India able to make one billion doses of vaccine
Bernstein said that the Serum Institute of India is fully ready to introduce the vaccine first. The Serum Institute has tied up with AstraZeneca and both Oxford and Novavax to produce their potential vaccines. It has the ability to produce both a protein subunit and a viral vector vaccine. If needed, the ability of both types can be increased by changing one. We do not see any hindrance on the manufacturing front.
He said, ‘The Serum Institute is also working on an additional capacity of one billion doses. We estimate that they will be able to produce 60 crore doses in 2021 and one billion doses in 2022. Of these, 40 to 50 crore doses will be available for India in 2021.’
Apart from this, three companies of India, Zydus, Bharat Biotech and Biological-e are also working on their own vaccines. These vaccines are in Phase I and Phase II trials.