New Delhi, October 28: Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII), on Wednesday, addressed the issue of availability of Covishield, which is a potential vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) developed by the Oxford University and pharma giant, AstraZeneca. Adar Poonawalla's SII is the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines and will be producing Covishield once it is approved. COVID-19 Vaccine: India Has Reserved Nearly Rs 51,000 Crore to Vaccinate All Citizens, Says Report.
Poonawalla, speaking to NDTV, said the first batch of 100 million doses of Covishield should be available by the second or third quarter of 2021. "We are aiming for 100 million available doses at first. This should be available by Q2-Q3 of 2021," he said. He added the trial process could end by around end-December, and if it happens, the vaccine will be available in January. He also did not rule out the possibility of having a vaccine this year.
"If the UK, where advanced trials are being done, shares its data with us and then we apply for an emergency trial with the Health Ministry and they clear it, and we carry out the same tests here in India, then, if successful, we could have a vaccine by mid-December," Poonawalla was quoted as saying.
Asked if he has got an answer for his question that whether the Indian government has sufficient fund to buy and distribute COVID-19 drugs as part of the mass vaccination plan, Poonawalla said he has recieved assurance from senior government officials. COVID-19 Vaccine: Adar Poonawalla Says Modi Government Will Take Care of All Needs of Every Indian Day After His Question on Financial Resources.
"Quick question: will the Government of India have 80,000 crores available over the next one year? Because that is what the Ministry of Health needs to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle," he had tweeted last month.
Asked about his tweet, Poonawalla said: "I am talking at the highest level with all department, including the health ministry. Their response has been very positive. They have assured that there is more than enough and sufficient funds that India has to take care of all the campaigns."
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 28, 2020 04:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).