Delighted at AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine's Effectiveness, Says SII CEO Adar Poonawalla

Darnell Taylor
November 23, 2020

The vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII) will seek the drug regulator's nod for limited use of the vaccine on frontline workers and elderly, reported IE.

He said, 'We were pleased to see that our vaccine was not only well tolerated in older adults; it also stimulated similar immune responses to those seen in younger volunteers.

Poonawalla tweeted, "I am delighted to hear that, Covishield, a low-priced, logistically manageable and soon to be widely available, Covid-19 vaccine, will offer protection up to 90% in one type of dosage regime and 62% in the other dosage regime".

Talking to German weekly Welt am Sonntag (WamS), Barcel said that the price of the coronavirus vaccine will depend on the number of doses ordered by the governments. So, you have the vaccine for - again - the vulnerable populations by Jan-Feb and then... "But that will be for a limited use for frontline workers, healthcare workers and elderly people", he added. "March-April for the general public", Poonawalla said.

Poonawalla said the Oxford vaccine is safe and stored at a temperature of two to eight degrees Celsius, which is ideal for it to be stored in the cold storages of India.

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He said the SII plans to make about 10 crore doses per month from February. Mr Poonawalla's company has an agreement with the government to mass-manufacture doses of the Covid vaccine.

"It's very important we take care of our country first, then go on to COVAX after that and then other bilateral deals with countries".

With India seeking around 300-400 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by July 2021, SII is "gearing up" to increase its output, and to still have "a few hundred million" doses left to offer to the COVAX mechanism led by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, Poonawalla said.

Moderna has said its experimental vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on interim data from a late-stage clinical trial, becoming the second developer to report results that far exceeded expectations after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. "A virus which can do that is something we have to be wary of", Guleria said.

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