New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII) is ramping up production of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine – Covishield – and aiming to have 100 million doses ready by December for a vaccination drive that could begin across India that same month, Bloomberg reported.
India’s top drug regulator next month will apply for emergency approval for limited use of ‘Covishield’ on frontline workers and the elderly, said the CEO of the Pune-headquartered vaccine manufacturer Adar Poonawalla at a media summit on Thursday.
SII has already manufactured 40 million doses and expects to go up to 100 million by January 2021. By July, it could supply 400 million doses, it added.
Poonawalla told a news channel SII hopes to win an India approval for emergency use by 2020 end.
“We were a bit concerned it was a big risk,” said 39-year-old. But both AstraZeneca and Novavax`s shots “are looking pretty good.”
Poonawalla is putting USD 250 million of his family’s fortune into a bid to ramp up manufacturing capacity to one billion doses through 2021.