SII’s Vaccine To Be Ready By December, Available By Next March

Sharing its latest updates on the ongoing trial of Astrazeneca-Oxford vaccine, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volumes, has said that India will get 60 – 70 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – Covishield – by this December, but the vaccines will come to the market in March, 2021.

The time between December and March will be required for licensing, explained Dr. Suresh Jadav, Executive Director, SII, at the India Vaccine Accessibility e-Summit HEAL-Thy Samvaad, organised by an NGO.  He said that SII will submit all of the clinical trials phase three data to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) by end of December, despite pauses and trial extensions. “Once the DCGI gets satisfied, it will give SII a EUL (Emergency Use License) or marketing authorisation within a month’s time. Then the Serum Institute will go to the WHO for prequalification. Only after the prequalification, international organisations like Gavi will buy this product,” a leading portal quoted him as saying. Once released in the market, SII will continue manufacturing more vaccines.

Logistical preparations for the vaccine are going on in full swing. Currently, SII is conducting phase 2 and 3 trials of the vaccine. As per reports, SII has expressed that it wants to be more inclusive as far as the variety of participants is concerned, including older individual and people with health conditions.

The Centre had earlier asked states to prioritise populations who should receive the vaccine, once registered. PM Narendra Modi has asked government officials to ensure speedy delivery of vaccines. In a meeting on 17th October, 2020, PM Modi suggested taking the help of the election mechanism to ensure well-managed delivery of vaccines.

The government is targeting to vaccinate approximately 25 crore people by July 2021. This will include the three vaccines which are presently under trial in India as also those that India will get under other agreements, like WHO (COVAX) and Dr. Reddy (Sputnik V), etc.

SII signed a deal with AstraZeneca (British-Swedish company) to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed by the University of Oxford. India is the manufacturing partner of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate named Covishield, developed jointly by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute’s and AstraZeneca. SII is looking after the trials at seventeen trial sites across India.

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