India is likely to get the first bunch of anti COVID-19 (the Novel Coronavirus) shots sometime between January to February.
The new bunch of Oxford AstraZeneca, a potential vaccine for COVID-19, would be available for a few frontline workers including doctors, nurses and municipal staff initially.
India plans to give the Serum Institute of India (SII,) emergency use approval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate soon after it gets similar approval in the United Kingdom. For the approval the SII firm needs to apply for the emergency use, which they decided to do in December.
In addition, the Central Government is also conducting talks with the vaccine manufacturers for the procurement of doses.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad based pharma company, Bharat Biotech International Private Limited, along with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR,) is working on another potential candidate vaccine for COVID-19.
Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN could also be considered for emergency approval after it submits data from phase I and II trials. Currently, the COVAXIN is under third phase trials. These trials are being held at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Science (NIMS.)
The official close to the COVID-19 vaccine developments in India said, “If everything goes as per plan and the company (SII) manages to secure emergency authorisation in December, we are expecting the first lot of vaccines by January-February and the first set of beneficiaries has been identified (sic.)”
However even after being approved, the vaccine would be available for the general population by 2024.
Adar Poonawalla, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SII, said, “you need the budget, the vaccine, logistics, infrastructure and then, people should be willing to take the vaccine”. “It will be 2024 for everybody, if willing to take a two-dose vaccine, to be vaccinated. ”
As of now, two vaccines, one by SII and another by the Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech are close to get approval.
Meanwhile, India is one of the top worst COVID-19 hit nations with the second highest number of cases, which is 9 millions.
The first nation with the highest 11 million cases is the United States of America (U.S.A.)
Stay tuned for further updates.