India may grant emergency use authorisation of Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine to Pune-based Serum Institute (SII) if AstraZeneca gets such approval from the UK government, Niti Aayog member Vinod Paul said on Saturday. He also said that if the clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine in India go as per the script, phase III trials should be over by January-February 2021.
Vinod Paul, chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, said that the Indian drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) may consider giving emergency authorisation of Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine to Adar Poonawalla’s SII if AstraZeneca gets it in the UK.
“We expect emergency authorisation for Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine to be sought in the UK. If so, it will give an opportunity for India regulator also,” Vinod Paul said. If an emergency authorisation is granted in India before the phase 3 trials are completed, would make it possible that people in the priority list be administered early next year.
RUSSIA PREPARING MORE COVID VACCINES: VLADIMIR PUTIN
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told G20 leaders on Saturday that Russia was ready to provide its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries who need it.
Vladimir Putin also said that Russia is also preparing its second and third vaccine against the coronavirus infection.
Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping has said that China is ready to step up global coronavirus vaccine cooperation. China has five home-grown candidates undergoing Phase 3 trials.
“China is willing to strengthen cooperation with other countries in the research and development, production, and distribution of vaccines,” Xi told the G20 Riyadh Summit via video link.
Xi Jinping said, “We will fulfill our commitments, offer help and support to other developing countries, and work hard to make vaccines a public good that citizens of all countries can use and can afford.”
MODERNA TO CHARGE RS 1,900-2,800 FOR ITS CORONAVIRUS VACCINE
Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said on Saturday that the company will charge governments between $25 (Rs 1,854) and $37 (Rs 2,744) per dose of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The charges of its coronavirus vaccine will also depend on the amount ordered.
“Our vaccine, therefore, costs about the same as a flu shot, which is between $10 (Rs 741.63) and $50 (Rs 3,708.13),” Bancel was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Recently, Moderna had said that its experimental coronavirus vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 infection. A day later, Pfizer said its vaccine against the deadly infection was 95 per cent effective.
US APPROVES COVID THERAPY
With cases surpassing 12 million in the United States, the highest in the world, US drug regulators gave emergency approval to a Covid-19 antibody therapy on Saturday.
The antibody therapy approval in the United States offers some hope for those infected, though a relatively small number of doses will be available in the coming weeks.
The same therapy was used to treat President Donald Trump when he was sickened with the virus.
(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)