Bernstein Report: India to have its first approved COVID-19 vaccine developed by SII, latest by Q1 of CY21

According to a recent report prepared by Bernstein Research, a top Wall Street research and brokerage firm, India will likely have its first approved COVID-19 vaccine (to be manufactured by Serum Institute of India in mass quantity) latest by the first quarter of the calendar year 2021.

Bernstein report said, “Globally, there are four candidates that are close to an approval by the end of the CY2020 or early 2021. Through partnerships India has access to two of those – AZ/Oxford’s viral vector vaccine and Novavax’s protein sub-unit vaccine with AZ/Oxford’s vaccine ahead by a quarter”.

The report added, “With their existing capabilities and capacities SII is best positioned to commercialise one or both of the partnered vaccine candidates depending on approval timing, capacities and pricing.”

Data from trials suggests that both these candidates are successful in generating good immune responses in humans and are safe to use. 

According to the report, Serum Institute of India has the potential to supply nearly 600 million doses by the year 2021 and around 1 billion doses by the year 2022. About 400 to 500 million of these doses would be available in India by the year 2021. 

The report said, “We believe the government channel will have first access to the capacities but also believe there will be a sizable private market. In terms of funding, manpower and delivery infrastructure the Government will struggle to shoulder the burden on its own and we expect the private market to step in and supplement.”

According to the report, the vaccine will be available for procurement at around $3 per dose for the government and about $6 per dose for end consumers.

Serum Institute of India has already signed a supply deal with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under the deal, funds will be made available to SII to accelerate the production of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for delivery in India and other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), once the vaccine is fully approved and is available for use.

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