India looking at 4 more Covid vaccines: Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan

COVID Vaccine, Jan 12: Health Secretary of India Rajesh Bhushan said on Tuesday that the country’s regulators are looking at four more Covid vaccines in the pipeline. Among these are the vaccines developed by Zydus Cadilla, Russia’s Sputnik-V, Biological E, and Gennova.

The four other COVID-19 vaccines that are in the pipeline in India are:

Zydus Cadila’s coronavirus vaccine ZyCoV-D has got the DGCI nod to conduct phase III trials in India.

Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, which according to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, meets the primary endpoint of safety in phase II clinical trials in India.

Hyderabad-based Biological E (BE) completed the phase I trials of its protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine in December. Phase II trials will likely begin in March 2021.

Pune-based Genova Pharmaceuticals Ltd is working on India’s only messenger RNA based COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The phase I trial of the HGCO19 vaccine is on and the second phase of the trials are expected to begin from March 2021.

The health ministry then went on to clarify that Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech will be supplying 16.5 lakh doses of Covaxin free of cost to the government. The company will be charging the government only for the remaining 38.5 lakh doses at Rs 295 per dose. Considering the total procurement is of 55 lakh doses, the price of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin comes down to Rs 206 per dose.

US pharma giant Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine will be priced at Rs 2,800 for two doses while Moderna’s will cost anywhere between Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,700 per dose. One vaccine developed by China has been priced at Rs 5,600 per dose while another Chinese vaccine will be made available in India at Rs 1,200 per dose.

Sputnik-V, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Russia will cost Rs 734 per dose while the one developed by Johnson & Johnson is also expected to be priced at Rs 734 per dose.

The Government of India is purchasing 100 million doses of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccines Covishield from Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) at the cost of Rs 200 per dose, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

He went on to add that Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine Covaxin is being purchased at a cost of Rs 206 per dose by the Government of India. This vaccine was developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV). The Centre is purchasing 38 lakh doses of Covaxin and will get the remaining 12 lakh doses free.