The Serum Institute of India is planning to boost production of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 shot as it aims to get 100 million doses ready by December. The world's largest vaccine maker has said it is preparing the shots for next month when an inoculation drive is likely to begin across India.
They are waiting for the outcome of the final-stage trial data. If it shows AstraZeneca's candidate gives effective protection from the virus, the institute may get emergency authorisation from New Delhi next month, Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla told Bloomberg.
The Serum Institute of India has partnered with AstraZeneca to produce at least one billion doses of the vaccine.
SII has already manufactured 40 million doses of the vaccine, under the at-risk manufacturing and stockpiling licence from Drugs Controller General of India. Covishield has been developed at the SII Pune laboratory with a master seed from Oxford University/Astra Zeneca. The vaccine made in the UK is currently being tested in large efficacy trials in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and the US. The promising results of the trials so far give confidence that Covishield could be a realistic solution to the pandemic.
ICMR and SII have further collaborated for clinical development of another COVID-19 vaccine Covovax, which has been developed by Novavax, USA, and upscaled by SII.