Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla Says India Should Have COVID-19 Vaccine by December

Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla Says India Should Have COVID-19 Vaccine by December

Countries across the world are currently involved in a race to find the best vaccine for COVID-19 with multiple vaccine candidates currently under human trials. India’s contribution has also been talked about extensively.

The efforts were led by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) with its CEO Adar Poonawalla expressing hope that India will have a vaccine for coronavirus soon.

Providing an update on that front, Poonawalla has said that India should have a COVID-19 vaccine ready for mass production and consumption by December. As per early trial data provided by SII, their vaccine candidate appears to trigger a strong immune response and is considered to be safe. 

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Previously, the SII had mentioned that it would apply for trials of the Oxford vaccine which has been researched jointly by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. SII had also said that this vaccine would be available for as low as $3 (around Rs 225) per dose in middle and low-income countries. This vaccine will be known in India as “Covishield”.

It was previously said that around 5,000 people from Mumbai would be injected with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine by the end of August as part of trials. These trials would reportedly last for up to two months, and the time after that will be spent on final inputs and getting mass production underway. 

Separately, SII has also inked a licensing deal with American firm Novavax for 100 million doses of its NVX‑CoV2373 vaccine candidate which will be marketed in India as well as other middle-income countries. 

Last week, the Serum Institute of India signed a major deal with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as Gavi - The Vaccine Alliance. As part of this partnership, the manufacturing and distribution of up to 100 million doses of upcoming vaccines will be fast-tracked for use in India and other countries in 2021. 

So as far as vaccines are concerned, India appears to be well on course to have enough stock for its population by 2021. However, it’s still early days and a lot could change between then and now.

Also read - Pune-Based Company To Apply For Trials Of Oxford Vaccine

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