SII hopeful of launching Covovax by June this year: Adar Poonawalla


New Delhi: The world’s biggest vaccine maker, Serum Institute of India (SII), is hopeful of launching Covovax by June 2021.

The coronavirus vaccine is being developed in partnership with American vaccine developer Novavax. CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Saturday that the US-based pharmaceutical firm’s coronavirus jab was found to be 89.3 per cent effective in a UK trial.

Media reports said that the Pune-based institute has already applied for local trials for the vaccine candidate in India. Adar Poonawalla tweeted on Saturday afternoon that it has applied to start trials in India and hoped to launch Covovax by June 2021.

The drug regulator DCGI has cleared two coronavirus vaccines, the SII’s Covishield and Hyderabad-based pharma firm Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

The coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, has been developed in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. The government said in a series of tweets on Friday that the country is  the fastest country in the world to vaccinate three million people.

Poonawalla said that his company would manufacture  of 40-50 million doses per month of the Novavax vaccine from April this year.

The Novavax vaccine’s efficacy was calculated at 95.6 per cent against the original coronavirus strain, and 85.6 per cent against the UK variant.

This day marks one year of India’s fight against novel coronavirus, the dreaded disease, that has affected over 1.07 crore people in the country.

Addressing a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India fulfilled its global responsibilities from the beginning by setting up infrastructure related to vaccination. He said there will be many more made-in-India vaccines in the offing.

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