India has so far allowed the use of four COVID-19 vaccines including two manufactured in India and one Russian vaccine.
India has so far allowed the use of four COVID-19 vaccines including two manufactured in India and one Russian vaccine. The Indian drug manufacturer Zydus Cadila’s Virafin and Russian vaccine Sputnik-V have got the nod for emergency use in India.
India is currently producing two vaccines, Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. The timeline for production and availability of the Zydus Cadila’s Virafin and Russian Direct Investment Fund's Sputnik V is not clear yet.
The country needs to immunise at least 70-80 percent of its 130 crore strong population to reach herd immunity. Assuming that this would require 2 doses of a vaccine per individual India will require around 200 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, the country is facing the worst surge of COVID-19 cases, seeing well over 3 lakh cases a day for multiple days consecutively. India will launch its massive vaccination drive for all above the age of 18 years from May 1.
Here are the other COVID-19 vaccines currently authorised across the world, their prices and the possibility of their use in India:
The mRNA vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is not often referred to it by its official name was one of the first vaccines in the world to get emergency use authorization.
Currently, it's being used in various countries in the world including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the USA, UK and the EU.
The vaccine has shown an efficacy rate of 91.3 percent in its latest Phase III trials.
Pfizer has been in talks with the government to bring the vaccine to India at a "not for profit price" but has not applied again after India announced its new streamlined approval process.
Moderna's vaccine is the only other mRNA vaccine currently authorised for use against COVID-19. The vaccine got approval for emergency use in late 2020.
The vaccine has shown a 94.1 percent efficacy rate up to 6 months after its second dose.
The vaccine is currently priced between $32-35 (Rs. 2400-2600) but according to statements of senior officials from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the vaccine makers weren't very keen to enter India due to the already high demands of the vaccine. It is left to be seen if India's new liberalised policies will change their minds.
The virus developed by Johnson & Johnson is a single-dose viral vector vaccine.
While the vaccine has a 66.3 percent global efficacy rate and a 74.4 percent efficacy in the USA, it does have a 100 percent efficacy against hospitalisation. That means it will significantly reduce the chances of a patient needing emergency medical care as a result of getting COVID-19.
J&J has priced its vaccine at $10 (Rs 750) to keep it affordable for all people.
The company's vaccine is expected to be imported en-masse to India starting in June-July. The company is also in talks to get authorization for its single jab vaccine with the CSDCO.
Apart from these three, China has three vaccines, Sinovac, Sinopharm and Casino that have been approved for emergency use in China as well as other countries across Asia. These vaccines are not likely to see use in India due to strained relations between the two countries and poor public opinion of the Chinese-made vaccines in India.
Russia also has two other vaccines authorised for emergency use, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac, but the vaccines are not publicly available and testing is still ongoing for the two vaccines.