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India To Produce Coronavirus Vaccine That Works On Monkeys

The Serum Institute of India said it is going to start making a still-experimental coronavirus vaccine while it is still on trial.

The Serum Institute of India which produces 1.5 billion vaccine doses each year for an array of diseases said it will start production before the autumn target date of the Oxford trial.

The Oxford Vaccine Group says it hopes to complete human trials on the hAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in September.

But Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India told the Times of India on Monday that he would not wait that long.

He said the institute would produce five million units of the vaccine a month, for six months, to get ahead of demand.

"We are not waiting for the trials to get over in September in UK, and then start production here. The decision at our own risk and cost has been solely taken to get a jump-start on manufacturing, to have enough doses available, if the clinical trials prove successful," he said.

"We aim to manufacture four to five million doses per month for the first six months, following which, we might scale up to 10 million doses per month, based on the success of trials. We are looking to build it up to 20-40 million doses by September-October."

"We are planning to make the vaccine available at an affordable price of around 1,000 rupees ($13) in India," he said. Drug prices vary widely around the world, and the same treatment often costs many times more in other countries.
6 monkeys given an experimental coronavirus vaccine from Oxford did not catch COVID-19 after heavy exposure, raising hopes for a human vaccine

The Jenner Institute, working as part of the Oxford Vaccine Group, is leading the global race for a coronavirus vaccine. The UK government has pledged £20 million, or $25 million, to the trial.

The vaccine given to the rhesus macaques is called hAdOx1 nCoV-19. Human trials began Thursday and are expected to be finished in September. The process of developing a vaccine is long, and even having a usable product by September would be unusually fast.

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