Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine in India: All you need to know about the vaccine

It’s going to be a year since the first case of COVID-19 infection came into light and the world came to a standstill with global lockdown and ongoing pandemic. Coronavirus infection has claimed over several millions of lives across the globe and the situation continues to get worse.

Amidst all the chaos and worries, one thing that everybody wants is the status of vaccine, its price, availability and how effective it is going to be. After months of clinical trial, speculations and long wait, apex medical institute of the globe are inching closer to have COVID-19 vaccine.

Fortunately, there are a number of vaccine candidates undergoing human trials across the globe. Recently the clinical trial of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have yielded excellent efficacy rate, India is still having high hopes from the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and is expected to be launched under the ‘Covishield” brand.

While speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020 in November, the CEO of the Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawalla, said that the Oxford vaccine should be available in India in another “two-three” months.

He also mentioned that vaccine will be made available for healthcare workers such as doctors, nurses, municipal employees, police and armed forces by February 21. He also shared that senior citizens of the country will also be given priority.

It is also expected that general public will get access to vaccine by April 2021. Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in collaboration with The University of Oxford announced that the COVID-19 vaccine has 70% efficacy rate as per the results of mass trial.

When given as half dose followed by full dose at least after a month apart, showed 90% efficacy. As compared to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna that have claimed around 94% efficiency, Oxford COVID-19 vaccine results showed just 70% vaccine efficacy. However, the Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius temperature for storage.

India is the second worst-infected nation after the United States with more than 9.1 million virus cases.