New Delhi: A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine may get available in India by January 2021, said the CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday.
In a recent interview with Mint, Poonawalla said, “Based on the success of the trials in India and the United Kingdom, and if approvals from regulatory bodies are in place in time, then we can expect the vaccine to be available in India by January 2021, only if its proven immunogenic and efficacious.”
The SII is currently working with British-Swedish pharma major AstraZeneca for production of the COVID-19 vaccine -Covishield.
The vaccine, which is being developed by the University of Oxford, is under the second phase of the clinical trials and it will be produced by SII for low-and-middle-income countries.
Poonawalla said that the vaccine shot had been given to thousands of people in India and abroad with no safety concerns. He also added that it will take two to three years to ascertain the long-term effects of the vaccine.
As per the reports published in the British medical journal The Lancet, the potential vaccine for coronavirus produced a dual immune response among the people aged between 18 to 55 years.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University have said that a two-dose regimen showed greater promise, though a single-dose injection is also being tested for the trials.
SII is aiming to manufacture about 60-70 million doses and then increase it up to 100 million doses of vaccine per month. “We should be able to reach there over the next few months,” said Poonawalla.
The pharma company has also partnered with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to speed up the process of manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and other third world countries as well.