Covishield vaccine ready for rollout in Jan: SII CEO

Covishield vaccine ready for rollout in January: Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawala

Serum Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla also told reporters that the company had already made 40 million to 50 million doses of the vaccine

Serum Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla also told reporters that the company had already made 40 million to 50 million doses of the vaccine.  Credit: AFP File Photo

With a stockpile of 40 to 50 million doses, Pune-based world’s largest vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) is ready to roll out the much-awaited Covishield vaccine in January 2021 to fight out the Covid-19 pandemic.

The data of clinical trials have been submitted to authorities in India and the United Kingdom.

Read: UK poised to approve Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine this week

“We expect good news in the next few days, in the new year,” SII chief executive officer Adar Poonawala told in an online media briefing from Pune.

As the SII is manufacturing Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in India, earlier this month Prime Minister Narendra Modi had personally visited the Pune facility of the vaccine maker to review the development process.

“We are awaiting regulatory approvals. We must respect the regulatory process. Once we get regulatory approvals in a few days, it will be up to the government to decide how much they can take and how fast,” Poonawalla said.

Also Read: Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be effective against new variant: Report

“We are ready for rollout in January. We expect to ramp up production capacity to 100 million doses by March. We will be ready with 300 million doses by June,” he said.

Poonawala said that the first six months of 2021 will see a shortage globally. “Nobody can help that. But we will see easing off by August-September 2021 as other vaccine manufactures also start supplying,” he further added.

However, he made it clear that the priority would be India. “We will also be giving vaccines to Covax countries,” he said.