New Delhi, November 13: Covishield, a potential vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19), may get emergency authorisation from the Indian government in December if final-stage trials show positive results, Bloomberg quoted Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII), as saying. Covishield is developed by the Oxford University and pharma giant AstraZeneca. Adar Poonawalla's SII is the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines and will be producing Covishield once it is approved. When Will COVID-19 Vaccine Covishield, Developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, Be Available? Adar Poonawalla Responds.
According to the Bloomberg report, the SII plans to keep 100 million doses of Covishield ready by December this year. This is for an inoculation drive which will begin once Covishield receives emergency authorisation. The Pune-based manufacturer has so far made 40 million doses of Covishield vaccine in the past two months and aims to start manufacturing Novavax Inc's vaccine candidate soon, Bloomberg added. COVID-19 Vaccine: India Has Reserved Nearly Rs 51,000 Crore to Vaccinate All Citizens, Says Report.
The SII has tied up with three more developers apart from AstraZeneca and Novavax. "We were a bit concerned it was a big risk. But both AstraZeneca and Novavax’s shots are looking pretty good," Poonawalla was quoted as saying, He reiterated that the entire world will not be vaccinated until 2024 due to affordability and manufacturing hurdles. In an earlier interview, Poonawalla said the vaccine could be available in December.
"If the UK, where advanced trials are being done, shares its data with us and then we apply for an emergency trial with the Health Ministry and they clear it, and we carry out the same tests here in India, then, if successful, we could have a vaccine by mid-December," he told NDTV last month.