Will have to wait for final words in scientific journal: CSIR chief on Covidshield

ANI
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CSIR Director-General Dr Shekhar Mande (File photo)
CSIR Director-General Dr Shekhar Mande (File photo)

New Delhi [India], November 25 (ANI): A day after Serum Institute of India (SII) Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla asserted that its "soon to be widely available COVID-19 vaccine will offer protection up to 90 per cent in one type of dosage regime", Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Director-General (D-G) Shekhar C Mande on Tuesday said that they would wait for the final peer-review of the vaccine candidate.

"Based on the results revealed, Covidshield seems to be very encouraging. But as a scientist one trusts scientific publications that are peer-reviewed. So we will have to wait for the final word till the paper (on the vaccine candidate efficacy) is published in a peer-reviewed journal," Mande told ANI.

"But if the results are true, which are being flashed on channels, it seems very encouraging. The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, a UK-based company, have collaborated with the Indian company, which is conducting a trial in the country," he added.

The CSIR chief said that if the results of the vaccine are very good as is being projected in the media then "the vaccine will be produced in large numbers. The SII is very capable of producing a very large number of doses of vaccines and therefore the COVID vaccine would be available very soon after regulatory approval around."

Poonawalla on Monday tweeted, "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."

Meanwhile, Mande said that Pfizer and Moderna have announced some interesting results about their COVID-19 vaccine candidate, claiming the efficacy of 95 per cent.

"Pfizer and Moderna have developed the vaccine in the US and Europe. We will have to see how they have planned to tie up with Indian companies and make it available to the Indian population," he said.

On November 17, Moderna, in its official statement, had announced that the Phase 3 trial has met the statistical criteria with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5 per cent.

Similarly, on November 18, Pfizer had said that final results from the late-stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine was found to be 95 per cent effective and had no serious side effects on older people. (ANI)