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Coronavirus vaccine: Oxford vaccine to be India's first shot; Australia to offer doses for free

BusinessToday.In     August 19, 2020

COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca could be India's first antidote to the virus. While locally developed COVID-19 vaccines are also in the race, the Oxford vaccine might get the necessary approval by the end of 2020. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is also ahead of its Indian counterparts when it comes to clinical trials.

"If the vaccine gets the nod, and given that it is being produced in India, it makes sense to use it," said a source in the know to Times of India.

Serum Institute of India (SII) is aiming to start Phase 3 trials of the coronavirus vaccine this week. The tests would initially take place across 10 centres in the country. Eventually, 1,600 volunteers would be part of the vaccine trials. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D are in initial stages of trials.

The Oxford coronavirus vaccine has already completed early Phase 1 and 2 trials in the UK. The trials have shown positive results. The preliminary results show that the COVID-19 vaccine induces antibody response within 28 days similar to people who have recovered from COVID-19. A second booster shot enhanced the response to higher levels. All the blood samples of people who received the booster shots showed neutralising activity. Coronavirus vaccine: Oxford vaccine to be India's first shot; Australia will offer doses for free.

Also read: Oxford coronavirus vaccine: Serum Institute to begin Phase 3 trials this week


Australia: Australia has said that it will make coronavirus vaccine mandatory. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the COVID-19 vaccine would be procured and given to its citizens for free. "The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in the world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian. If this vaccine proves successful we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians," he said. He said that they want to make the COVID-19 mandatory to ensure that the country returns to normal life.

Russia: Meanwhile, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund candidate has said that Russia is keen to get India onboard for their vaccine candidate. "We have great cooperation with India, Indian scientists and Indian manufacturers. They understand our technology," said Dmitriev. "We saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi comment that India is open to manufacturing the vaccine in their country...India has already invested in the vaccine sector heavily with top companies and manufacturing capabilities already exist in India, hence Moscow is keen to manufacture Sputnik V in India," Dmitriev said.

Also read: Sputnik V production in India? Russia keen to produce coronavirus vaccine in country

China: China has approved the patent for the first coronavirus vaccine. Chinese vaccine specialist CanSino has won a patent approval from Beijing for its coronavirus candidate, Ad5-nCOV.

Meanwhile, Sinopharm has said that the COVID-19 vaccine would cost no more than 1,000 yuan ($144.27) for two shots. State media quoted chairman Liu Jingzhen as saying that Sinopharm's experimental vaccine could be ready for public use by the end of this year. It has entered a late-stage human test in the United Arab Emirates to gather proof of efficacy for final regulatory approvals. "It will not be priced very high. It is expected to cost a few hundred yuan for a shot, and for two shots it should be less than 1,000 yuan," Liu told the Guangming Daily newspaper.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine: Russia produces first batch; CanSino receives patent approval in China

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