Delighted at AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine's Effectiveness, Says SII CEO Adar Poonawalla

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New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Monday expressed happiness at pharma major AstraZeneca's announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been found to be 70 per cent effective on average. AstraZeneca said one dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90 per cent when the vaccine was given as a half-dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart, while another dosing regimen showed 62 per cent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

"The combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70 per cent," it added. In a tweet, Poonawalla said, "I am delighted to hear that, Covishield, a low-cost, logistically manageable & soon to be widely available, #COVID19 vaccine, will offer protection up to 90% in one type of dosage regime and 62% in the other dosage regime…".

SII is currently conducting clinical trials of Oxford University-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India. AstraZeneca also said it is making rapid progress in manufacturing with a capacity of up to 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 on a rolling basis, pending regulatory approval.

"The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions for at least six months and administered within existing healthcare settings," it added. Meanwhile, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted, "Interestingly the more effective dosage will be more economical. And the easier storage & transportability of this vaccine makes it possibly the best bet for India. This is seriously good news. Let's get this show on the road @adarpoonawalla".