US biotech company Moderna had a week earlier announced a new potential COVID-19 vaccine, which has been shown to be 94.5 % effective at protecting people from Coronavirus, according to interim results from late-stage clinical trials. Soon after global drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 95% effective, including in adults over 65 years of age.
‘…but we’re close to a deal with EU Commission’
Now, Moderna’s Chief Executive Stephane Bancel has stated that the drugmaker will charge governments between $25 and $37 per dose of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, depending on the amount ordered. “Our vaccine, therefore, costs about the same as a flu shot, which is between $10 and $50,” he told German weekly Welt am Sonntag (WamS).
According to media reports, on Monday, an EU official involved in the talks said the European Commission wanted to reach a deal with Moderna for the supply of millions of doses of its vaccine candidate for a price below $25 per dose. “Nothing is signed yet, but we’re close to a deal with the EU Commission. We want to deliver to Europe and are in constructive talks,” Bancel told WamS, adding it was just a “matter of days” until a contract would be ready.
Indian govt in talks with vaccine manufacturers
Earlier this week, ANI had reported that the Indian government is in dialogue with US biotech giant Moderna, regarding initial successful development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. “The government is in dialogue with both domestic and international vaccine manufacturers. Not only with Moderna–the government is also in communication with Pfizer, Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate in terms of safety, immunogenicity and efficacy,” a senior government official said.
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Meanwhile, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla on Thursday said the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine should be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by around February next year and by April for the general citizens. He said it will be priced at a maximum of Rs 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public, depending on the final trial results and regulatory approvals.
Asked at what price the public will get it, he said it will be around USD 5-6 per dose with an MRP of around Rs 1,000 for the two necessary doses. “The government of India will be getting it at a far cheaper price at around USD 3-4 because it will be buying in a large volume and get access to the price that is similar to what COVAX has got. We are still pricing it far cheaper and more affordable than other vaccines we have in the market today,” Poonawalla said.
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(With agency inputs)