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Why India will play a vital role in the production of free COVID-19 Vaccine. A deep dive.


Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

India has been already in clinical testing of its own vaccine, Covaxin as well as six other vaccines that are approved by WHO for testing and few others which are in various other phases of vaccine production.


But while the development of a vaccine is important, there is another phase that plays a vital role in vaccine development, that is large scale production, this is where the Indian-based Serum Institute of India comes into play.


Pune-based Serum Institute of India is known for its mass production of vaccines, it is the only company which produces such large volumes of vaccine in the world. In spite of the low revenues due to the 'High Volume, Low-cost approach', it is renowned for producing vaccines at cheaper rates. They have already been in the production of vaccines of various diseases such as Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis-B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Rabies. They manufacture vaccines and deliver them to almost 140 countries around the world. (source dated 2012)


Due to the COVID-19 breakdown, Serum Institute of India had earlier partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford vaccine candidate for Covid-19. As of 25th July, Serum Institute of India has sought permission from DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) for phase II / III of clinical trials of Oxford's COVID vaccine.


Some of the excerpts from Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India speaking to CNN-News18

Serum produces around 800 million vaccines per year and has already invested almost $ 200 million into building new facilities for large scale production of the vaccine.
Adar Poonawalla has assured of vaccines for the elderly, highly critical, and frontline workers by Q4 (December 2020) and for the normal public by Q1 2021.
He also stated that vaccines for Indian citizens will be free of cost as all the vaccine costs will be covered by the Indian Government.

Watch Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India speaking to CNN-News18 below:


 



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