‘Reason to believe effective vaccine for general public in India to be available by Apr 2021’

MUMBAI: State Bank of India Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara on Thursday said there is a “reason to believe” that an “effective vaccine” to prevent COVID-19 may be available by April next year.

“There is a reason to believe that an effective vaccine may be available to the general public in India by April 2021,” Khara said.

He was speaking at an event organised by the Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association of India.

“The only prudent thing to do for businesses is to ensure that they are prepared to handle the volatility,” he said referring to possible uncertainties in the financial markets in the coming months.

Massive efforts are being undertaken by the governments both at the Centre and states to ensure vaccine distribution, as trials of multiple candidates including Oxford University and AstraZeneca progress on.

The Oxford vaccine is being risk manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), in order to be widely available to people in large quantities as and when the regulator passes it.

SII on Thursday said the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is safe and effective, and the Indian trials are progressing smoothly with strict adherence to all protocols.

Khara said the Indian rupee has been a surprise beneficiary of COVID-19 spread, especially after the initial depreciation witnessed in March 2020, mainly as central banks pumped liquidity into their markets which started chasing returns.

He appreciated the role played by the Reserve Bank of India during this period through its efforts to contain volatility and added that we would have seen much larger moves in the Indian forex market otherwise.

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