Serum Institute of India (SII) will apply for emergency authorisation of COVID-19 vaccine in next two weeks. This was stated by the chief executive of the Institute, Adar Poonawalla in Pune yesterday. Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume. Pune based drugmaker partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca to produce COVID-19 vaccine by University of Oxford for low-and-middle income countries. Dubbed as Covishield, the COVID-19 vaccine is currently in the Phase III clinical trial in India.
Mr Poonawalla said Covishield is a highly effective vaccine against novel coronavirus. AstraZeneca and Oxford University earlier said that their drug had proved on average 70% effective at stopping the virus after trying it on 23,000 people.
Mr Poonawalla said, India will be given first priority for the delivery of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. He said, the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed initially in India, then we will look at the COVAX countries which are mainly in Africa. He said our priority is India & COVAX countries, while the United Kingdom and European markets are being taken care of by AstraZeneca and Oxford.