Coronavirus vaccine: 300-400 million doses by December, says Adar Poonawalla

Coronavirus vaccine: 300-400 million doses by December, says Adar Poonawalla

With the trials of the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University showing encouraging results, Adar Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India (SII) has said at least 300 million doses of the potential vaccine will be ready by December.

 SII Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said 300-400 million doses of the potential vaccine ‘Covishield’ will be ready by December.

Adar Poonawalla of the Serum Institute added that the vaccine will cost around Rs 1,000 in India.

The SII, the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world, has been chosen by Oxford and its partner AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine once it gets ready.

"The trials have shown promising results and we are extremely happy about it. We will be applying for the licensure trials to the Indian regulator in a week's time. As soon as they grant us permission, we will begin with the trials for the vaccine in India. In addition, we will soon start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes," SII Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said on Monday.

The interim results from the ongoing Phase I/II COV001 trial, led by Oxford University, showed that the vaccine was tolerated and generated robust immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all evaluated participants, AstraZeneca said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Poonawalla had said that the SII was hoping to develop a Covid-19 vaccine by year-end as it was focusing on a "good and safe" product and is not in a "rush".