Vaccination drive in India may start in January, says Adar Poonawalla as Serum Institute hopes to get nod by December

Pune’s SII is preparing to manufacture enough vaccines for the government as well as private makers.
Adar Poonawalla hopes SII will get emergency-use authorisation of its vaccine candidate by December. (HT Photo)
Adar Poonawalla hopes SII will get emergency-use authorisation of its vaccine candidate by December. (HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 12, 2020 01:58 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla has said India’s vaccination drive may begin by January 2021 as his company is hoping to get emergency-use authorisation by December end. Speaking at the Economic Times Global Business Summit, Poonawalla said life is likely to become normal by September-October 2021 as by then there will be enough vaccines for everyone.

“We might get emergency license by this month-end, but licence for wider use might come at a later date. But, we are confident that if the regulators give a nod, India’s vaccination drive can start by January 2021,” Poonawalla said.

Pune’s SII is preparing to manufacture enough vaccines for the government as well as private makers.

An expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has sought additional safety and efficacy data from Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech as their applications for emergency-use authorisation came up for review. From SII, the expert committee has sought an upgraded safety data of phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials in the country, immunogenicity data from the clinical trial in the UK and India along with the outcome of the assessment of the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine will be priced at Rs 500-600, Poonawalla had said during the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. “Emergency use authorisation will be for healthcare workers and other frontline workers, and by March- April, the vaccine should be available for use to general public. Emergency use licensure is based on the positive UK results. There is a good T-cell and antibody response but nobody at this stage can answer whether these vaccines can protect long-term,” he had said.

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