Written bySiddhant Pandey
The process is underway at breakneck speed and vaccines developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc-BioNTech and the Chinese firm Sinovac are currently undergoing Phase III trials.
But, how would the vaccines be priced as such to ensure broader access?
AstraZeneca has partnered with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to produce one billion vaccine doses in India and middle/low-income countries.
Phase III human clinical trials may start in India by August and it may be launched by November.
A source told PTI that according to an application submitted by SII to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), it would conduct an observer-blind, randomized controlled study to determine the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, which will be called 'Covishield' in India.
SII Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla told PTI, "It is too early to comment on the vaccine's price. However, we will keep it under Rs. 1,000 per dose."
He said that the vaccine is going to be "bought by the government and distributed free."
He added that it is likely that the vaccine would require two or more doses.
Pfizer has partnered with the biotech firm BioNTech to develop the potential vaccine BNT162b2.
Early results show that the vaccine has produced an immune response during Phase II/III trials.
The firm is expecting regulatory approval by October and a vaccine in the market by the end of 2020.
Notably, Pfizer has said that it expects to profit from its vaccine candidate.
Procurement deals for Pfizer's vaccine have been signed in the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy. In the US, it will be priced at $39 for a two-dose course, while in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy, the vaccine will be priced at $3-4.
Meanwhile, Moderna's mRNA-1273 vaccine has also commenced Phase III trials with 30,000 human volunteers.
Phase I trials showed the vaccine is safe and generates an immune response.
Moderna is also seeking to profit from the vaccine and is planning to price it at $50-60 for the entire course ($25-30 per dose). This price would apply to the US and other high-income countries, Reuters reported.
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