Adar Poonawalla also said that SII will soon apply for emergency use authorization of Covishield. (Photo source: ANI)
Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Pune to review the preparedness of Covishield vaccine, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said that indication is that the Centre may purchase around 300-400 million doses by July next year. “As of now there is nothing in writing about how many doses the government of India will purchase but there is an indication that it would around three to four hundred million doses, Poonawalla said.
Poonawalla also said that SII will soon apply for emergency use authorization of Covishield. According to him, this will be done in the next two weeks. Talking about the progress of Covishield, the SII chief executive officer said that they will soon submit data of the vaccine to the Drug Control of India.
Pune-based Serum Institute of India has partnered with Oxford University and pharma giant AstraZeneca for the vaccine candidate Covidshield.
When asked to comment on the distribution process of, Poonawalla said that the vaccine will be distributed first in India. “Our priority is India and COVAX countries, which are mainly in Africa, as AstraZeneca and Oxford are taking care of European markets,” he said.
Talking about the Prime Minister’s visit to Serum Institute of India’s facility in Pune, the vaccine major said that it was a special day. During his visit, PM Modi tried to go into details on the preparedness and manufacturing status of Covidshield. He interacted with the team of scientists who share details about the progress of the vaccine so far and what they are planning to do in order to ramp up vaccine manufacturing.
About the discussion with PM Modi, Poonawalla said that he was amazed at the knowledge he already had about coronavirus vaccines. “PM is extremely knowledgeable and there were very few things to explain to him,” Serum Institute of India CEO said.