The Serum Institute of India (SII) is in the process of applying for an emergency license of Covid-19 vaccine in the next two weeks, said chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla on Saturday. Serum Institute of India is conducting clinical trials of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India.
Speaking to reporters through virtual press conference minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to SII’s facility in Pune on Saturday, Poonawalla said, the vaccine, post-authorization, will initially be distributed in India and then to African countries.
Poonawalla also said it was a special day for the company with the Prime Minister visiting them to go into details on the manufacturing status not only its plants in Pune but on various partnerships and the impact the vaccine industry is going to have to India and the globe. The institute will ramp up production to 100 mn doses after January.
The vaccine will be distributed initially in India and then the company will look at Covax countries, which are mainly in Africa, he added. With the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision in mind, Serum Institute has built the largest pandemic level facility in Pune in its sister campus at Manjri and that was showcased also to the Prime Minister, he added.
The SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has signed an agreement to manufacture the vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.