Coronavirus Vaccine cost $14.7 Each, To Be Manufactured In India

The Serum Institute of India said on April 28 that they plan to produce up to 60 million doses of a vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford called “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19” this year.

Coronavirus Vaccine Worked On Monkeys

The potential vaccine is currently undergoing clinical trials in Britain and has yet to show effectiveness on humans. However, Serum has said that the vaccine has been proven to work on animals, which is why they have begun to manufacture the vaccines. Serum Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said the vaccine’s success in animal trials has allowed the testing to progress onto humans.

The animal trials involved six rhesus macaque monkeys, which were given the vaccine at the Montana Rocky Mountain Laboratory of the National Institutes of Health. The monkeys were then exposed to massive amounts of the novel coronavirus. After 28 days, researcher Vincent Munster found the monkeys to still be healthy.

Poonawalla said that Serum was confident in their decision to manufacture the vaccine being developed at Oxford because the university has “a bunch of very qualified, great scientists”. He cited the company’s ability to “take a little risk” because they are a private limited company, “not accountable to public investors or bankers”. He was also able to sideline other products and projects he had slated for his company in order to manufacture the vaccine.

According to the South China Morning Post, the vaccine’s clinical trials are set to finish in September. Oxford scientists will be testing if the vaccine can both protect from the virus and induce good immune responses, all while not causing unacceptable side effects. Serum hopes to make around 400 million doses of the vaccine by 2021, with a majority of the doses “at least initially” going to India “before it goes abroad”.

It would be the Indian government’s responsibility to decide which countries get how much of the vaccine and when. The vaccines will be given by the government without charge, but otherwise, they may cost $14.7 each. CBS News reports that Oxford University had a head start on the vaccine due to previous work on vaccines for other viruses. The coronavirus genetic material is injected into a common cold virus to neutralize it, allowing the immune system to fight the modified virus to trigger protection from COVID-19.

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