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Covishield for COVID-19 could cost Rs 500: Serum CEO


New Delhi, Nov 20: Serum Institute of India (SII) is likely to apply to India's top drug regulator next month for emergency approval for limited use of Covishield on frontline workers and the elderly, the CEO of the company said.

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    Covishield will be available for the rest of the public by March-April 2021, SII CEO, Adar Poonawalla said at the HT leadership summit. The vaccine which can be stored at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C could cost between Rs 500 and 600, he also said.

    Covishield for COVID-19 could cost Rs 500: Serum CEO

    He said that the government will get the vaccine at a much lower price of around $3-$4 (approximately Rs 225-300) as they will be buying large volumes.

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    But "the general public, as I mentioned, will probably have to pay around Rs 500-600," Poonawalla, he said.

    "As soon as the UK authorities, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and the European EMEA (European Medicines Agency) approve it for emergency use, we will apply to the Drug Controller (DCGI) in India and, hopefully, very soon, we can also get an emergency use authorisation," Poonawalla also said.

    "Again, that will be just to clarify a limited use for frontline workers, the elderly. It is going to take another three to four months before it's available to the general public, because that's the way the emergency use licensure will probably work, he further added.

    "We are basing the assumption of emergency licensure based on positive UK result if we have a good UK result coming in end of November-early December, we apply for an emergency licensure use. So, you have the vaccine for - again - the vulnerable populations by Jan-Feb and then March-April for the general public," he further added.

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