Serum Institute of India (SII) can supply around 100 million doses of Oxford-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine per month and India will be its highest priority, CEO Adar Poonawalla has said. By July 2021, India could have around up to 400 million doses of Covishield, he added. Speaking to media, SII CEO said that India could approve emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine by December 2020. Once cleared, the vaccine will be used to protect priority beneficiaries identified by the Centre, including frontline healthcare workers and elderly, he said.
Poonawalla’s comments came shortly after AstraZeneca on November 23 said its vaccine could be around 90% effective, giving the world’s fight against the pandemic a new weapon, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale up than rivals. “SII is hoping the data released earlier, along with preliminary data from the ongoing trial of the vaccine in India, will allow it to seek emergency use authorization for the vaccine by year-end, before gaining approval for a full roll out by February or March next year,” said Poonawalla.