Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Pune-based pharma company Serum Institute of India (SII) on Saturday (November 28), the company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla said that his company will seek permission for emergency use authorization of ‘Covishield’ in the next two weeks.
Covishield is the coronavirus vaccine developed jointly by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca in collaboration with the SII.
Few days, SII CEO Poonawalla had said that that the company is focused on supplying vaccines to India first. “It is very important we take care of our country first, then go on to Covax after that and then other bilateral deals with countries. So I’ve kept it in that priority,” Poonawalla had told reporters.
“I am delighted to hear that, Covishield, a low-cost, logistically manageable & soon to be widely available, #COVID19 vaccine, will offer protection up to 90% in one type of dosage regime and 62% in the other dosage regime. Further details on this, will be provided this evening,” Adar Poonawalla had tweeted on November 23.
“As of now, we do not have anything in writing with the government of India on how many doses they will purchase but the indication is that it would be 300-400 million doses by July 2021,” he added.
Earlier on Saturday, PM Modi visited the SII facility in Pune and met Poonawalla and his team. “Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility,” PM Modi tweeted.
Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility. pic.twitter.com/PvL22uq0nl
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 28, 2020
PM Modi also went to Hyderabad to visit Bharat Biotech facility. During his visit to Bharat Biotech facility, the prime minister was briefied about the company’s ‘indigenous COVID-19 vaccine’. “Congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far. Their team is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress,” PM Modi said.