Coronavirus Vaccine Update: Much has been speculated about the price at which the coronavirus vaccine, whenever it comes, will be sold. Will it be expensive? Will it be free? Will it be affordable? These are just a few of the questions on everyone’s mind as they await a cure that ends the pandemic.Also Read - Omicron Infected Have Significant Immune Response, Can Neutralise Delta Variant: ICMR Study

The coronavirus vaccine is estimated to be developed by early next year. Also Read - Will Schools in Delhi Reopen as COVID Cases Decline? Sisodia Says Will Discuss Matter With DDMA Tomorrow

So how much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost in India? Also Read - Covishield and Covaxin To Get Regular Market Approval From DCGI Soon, Each Dose Likely To be Capped at Rs 275

Although the government is looking at ways to distribute the vaccine for free, the price of coronavirus vaccine, when it releases, is expected to vary somewhere between Rs 450 to Rs 5,500 for a double dose. This is the estimated price around the world as a single dose has been pegged at $32 to $37 (approximately Rs 2700).

How was the price determined?

The COVID-19 vaccine cost was determined based on research and development costs. It must be noted that globally, close 170 vaccines are the run for approval, of which at least 50 have entered clinical human trials.

Of the 50, 10 vaccines are the final leg of trials. Countries like the US, the UK, Russia and Canada have even secured some of these vaccines through agreements to get it first whenever it is released.

Who all will get the COVID-19 vaccine and how?

According to experts, at least 60 per cent of the population of a country needs to be vaccinated to curb the spread of the viral infection. Moreover, individuals may require two doses of a vaccine instead of one to attain the desired immunogenicity.

As a result, so to make it accessible to low and middle-income countries like India, the WHO, along with GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) and CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) has formed a global platform to ensure a fair price for the vaccine.

Moreover, the Government of India has promised to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine free of cost. The announcement was made by Nirmala Sitharaman as a part of the BJP poll manifesto in Bihar.

However, with a slumping economy which has a zero or even negative growth rate through 2020, as well as the cost surrounding the availability of the vaccine, the promise appears difficult to be fulfilled.