'Preliminary Good News': Adar Poonawalla Reacts to AstraZeneca's Experimental Vaccine Showing Positive Results in Elderly

Sneha Mordani
·2-min read

Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla termed as "preliminary good news" an announcement by British drugmaker AstraZeneca that an experimental Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford is producing an immune response in both younger and older adults.

"A lot of people were wondering and asking the question, will these early vaccines be effective for the elderly and most vulnerable, here is some preliminary good news," Poonwalla whose SII is developing the vaccine candidate, known as Covishield in India, said on Twitter.

Covishield is in the phase 2 and 3 trials of the coronavirus vaccine. Serum Institute has announced that they are hoping that the vaccine will be ready by year end, though it will be market ready by March 2021.

The Astra-Oxford vaccine candidate is one of several front-runners in the race for protection against the virus. The announcement has led to a wave of optimism as Europe is under the second wave of pandemic and countries like India had registered 79 lakh cases.

“Findings on blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants echo data released in July that showed the vaccine generated robust immune responses in healthy adults ages 18 to 55," AstraZeneca said.

The results from an earlier trial phase, published in the Lancet indicated that the vaccine increased levels of both protective neutralizing antibodies and immune T-cells.

AstraZeneca Plc has not sought emergency authorization of the vaccine till now but a report in the Sun indicated that hospital in the UK has been asked to prepare in order to receive the vaccine.

The Times had earlier reported that the company could get the required clearances for its coronavirus vaccine candidate by Christmas in the UK. The report said that a full vaccine roll-out programme for the populace could be rolled out in six months', the green signal is expected by this year end.