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Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla has said the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine should be available by around February 2021. The initial batch of the vaccine will be available for healthworkers and elderly people. The general public will receive the vaccine by April.

Children would have to wait a little longer till the safety data is out.

The SII chief said the Oxford vaccine will be priced at a maximum of Rs 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public.

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He also said that 30-40 crore doses of the Oxford vaccine will be available by the first quarter of 2021.

The government of India will be getting it at a cheaper price at around USD 3-4, as it will be buying in a large volume and get access to the price similar to what Covax has got.

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On the efficacy of the vaccine, Adar Poonawalla said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is so far proving to work very well even in elderly people. It is said that the vaccine has induced good T-cell response, which is an indicator for long term immunity and antibody response. However only time will tell if these vaccines are going to protect in the long term.

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SII will apply for emergency authorisation to the drug controller in India as soon as the UK authorities and the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) approve it for emergency use.

Poonawalla said the Oxford vaccine is affordable, safe and stored at a temperature of two to eight degress Celsius, the ideal temperature for it to be stored in the cold storages of India.