Covid Vaccine may be available in India by January 2021 – Adar Poonawalla
A safe and effective vaccine against novel coronavirus may be available in India by January 2021, says Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Serum Institute of India. Pune based drug maker joined hands with British-Swedish pharma major AstraZeneca to produce the coronavirus vaccine called ‘Covishied’ for low-and-middle income countries, being developed by University of Oxford.
The Phase II/III clinical human trial of the vaccine has been running smoothly in the country with no safety concerns so far, and the entire recruitment process of 1,600 volunteers for the Covishield vaccine trial has been completed across 17 trial sites by October 31, according to the Serum Institute of India (SII).
“Based on the success of the trials and regulatory approvals, we can expect vaccine to be available in India by January 2021, only if its proven immunogenic and efficacious, says SII CEO Adar Poonawalla.
It is anticipated that Covishield will be one of the first to secure regulatory approval, along with vaccine candidates from US-based Pfizer and Moderna Inc, as scientists across the world try to find a vaccine against novel coronavirus.
Poonawalla said that his company aims to initially manufacture about 60-70 million doses, and expand it up to 100 million doses of the vaccine per month, adding that “we should be able to reach there over the next few months.” He also added that Serum Institute is in talks with the government over the pricing of the vaccine, ensuring that it will be made available at an affordable price. “We are certain that it will be affordable for all.”