Covishield can be available in first half of 2021
Serum Institute has currently applied with the DCGI for emergency authorization of Covishield in the country
Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine can be available in the country as early as the first half of next year, said Gagandeep Singh, Country President of AstraZeneca. Speaking at the 93rd annual convention of industry chamber FICCI, he said that in the current pandemic the vaccine has to be made available broadly, equitably as well as in a timely manner.
Serum Institute of India is conducting clinical trials of Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covishield in India.
“We started working in April with Oxford University and currently we are hoping to get emergency use authorisation approved and that can potentially mean that we could have something which is available as early as the first half of 2021,” Singh said.
The company has signed close to three billion dosages supply agreements across the world encompassing close to 160 countries, he noted.
“On top of that due to the viral vector platform which is used to produce our vaccine, it can be manufactured on a relatively large scale and we are fortunate to partner with Serum which has one of the largest manufacturing capacities,” Singh said.
More importantly, this vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at comfortable refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 degrees) which is very comfortable to handle, meaning it can be administered very rapidly across the country, he added.
“That’s what we are hoping to do when we get approval from the authorities in India,” he said.
Pfizer, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute have currently applied with the DCGI for emergency authorization of their vaccines in the country.
(Edits by EP News Bureau)