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Covaxin vs Covishield | Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine may cost lower than Serum Institute's: Report

SII plans to price the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at Rs 200 per dose for the Indian government, and Rs 1,000 for the private market.

January 07, 2021 / 09:44 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Bharat Biotech might price its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin lower than Covishield, the jab from Serum Institute of India (SII).

The Hyderabad-based company is expected to sign a final contract with the government soon, the Business Standard reported. Deciding the cost is taking time since the government is trying to negotiate the best possible price.

"Bharat Biotech is likely to price its vaccine very competitively and lower than its competitor. Historically, too, the firm has quoted competitive prices to supply in India," a source told the paper.

Follow our LIVE blog for updates on the COVID-19 pandemic

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Bharat Biotech has not yet responded when contacted by the publication.

SII plans to price the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at Rs 200 per dose for the Indian government, and Rs 1,000 for the private market.

Bharat Biotech Managing Director Krishna Ella has earlier said pricing of Covaxin would depend on volumes.

Also read: Here's how SII's Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin stack up against each other

On January 3, the two vaccines were approved for restricted emergency by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

Bharat Biotech has not yet provided efficacy data of Covaxin, which is still in the third phase of clinical trials.

"Right now the vaccine has been allowed a roll out in clinical trial mode, which means that receivers will have to give consent before getting a jab and they would be followed up regularly. The prices would thus be low," a source told the paper.

Both vaccines against the coronavirus are two dose regimens and can be stored at 2–8 degrees Centigrade (refrigerator temperature).

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on January 2 said the vaccine will be given free of cost to the "most prioritised beneficiaries", which includes 1 crore healthcare and 2 crore frontline workers.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 7, 2021 09:44 am

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