Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine maker by number of doses produced, has sought government approval for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of the coronavirus vaccine” Covishield ” that it is developing with the University of Oxford and British drugmaker AstraZeneca.
An EUA is a special designation that allows the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help strengthen the country's public health protections against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats by making medical countermeasures available for use during public health emergencies .Under an EUA, the FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions "when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives"
Adar Poonawala, who leads the SII revealed that the Covishield vaccine would cost Rs 500 to Rs 600 but the Government of India would get it in around Rs 225 to Rs 300.This vaccine can be stored at temperatures between 2 degrees celsius and 8 degrees celsius.
AstraZeneca said after analysis of clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in the UK and Brazil that it was 70 per cent effective on average, becoming the third drugmaker after US firms - Moderna and Pfizer - to announce promising results to contain the deadly virus, which has affected over 96 lakh people in India and over 6.6 crore people across the world.
The company also said that the vaccine showed 90 per cent efficacy in one dosing regimen when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later, while another dosing regimen showed 62 per cent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.
Covishield has drawn an immune response even in the elderly, who are among the groups vulnerable to the disease. The first batch of 100 million doses should be available by the second or third quarter of 2021.
Owing to its comparatively lower cost , suitable storage temperatures and higher efficacy , Covishield is probably the safest bet at the moment in order to combat against Coronavirus.