New Delhi, Nov 28: The central government has suggested it wants 300 to 400 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by the Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca by July, Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla said on Saturday after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
‘With Atmanirbhar Bharat in mind, we have built the biggest vaccine setup in India. We have shown PM our presentation for this setup. We are in the process of submitting the data to the drug controller, Poonawalla said.
“It also depends on the trails that are going on in UK. We have highlighted the pros and merits of our vaccine to the PM. We have also discussed the logistics for distribution. We are in the process of getting an emergency license. Our vaccine will be first distributed in India and then COVAX countries” he added.
“NovaVax is two months behind AstraZeneca, so we will start the processes for it only when we will get the results. The PM was impressed with our facility,” he further added.
“The only delay that we are looking at is the trial for the under 18 candidates. We are ready with results for adults. Initially we will be manufacturing 10-15 million doses in January-February. By April-May, we should be able to make over 100 million doses. The Ministry of health wants 200-300 million doses by June-July. We are working towards it,” Adar Poonawalla.
“With COVIShield, we found that there was 0% hospitalisation, and there was a 60% reduction in the viral load when administered,” Poonawalla added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the Serum Institute of India (SII) here and reviewed the progress of the ”Covishield” vaccine being made there.
The prime minister landed at Pune”s Lohegaon airport at 4.30 pm from Hyderabad, on the last leg of his three-city vaccine work review visit.
He then proceeded by helicopter to the Serum Institute campus at Manjari, located 17 km from the airport.
Modi interacted with scientists at the Serum Institute and had a walkabout of the facility, taking stock of vaccine development work being carried out there.
At the facility, Modi was received by Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Poonwalla Group, and his son and SII CEO Adar Poonawalla. They briefed Modi about the work being carried out at SII.
Modi interacted with the Poonawallas, SII scientists and other executives, who briefed him on the progress of the vaccine.
“Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility,” Modi tweeted after his SII visit.
Serum Institute of India has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University for the vaccine.
Modi left from SII for Pune airport around 6 pm and took off for Delhi at 6.25 pm, an official said.