Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, is hopeful of launching Covovax – developed in partnership with American vaccine developer Novavax – by June, its CEO Adar Poonawalla said today. The US-based pharma firm’s Covid jab was found to be 89.3 per cent effective in a UK trial.
The Pune-based Serum Institute has already applied for local trials for the vaccine candidate in India. “Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!” Adar Poonawalla tweeted this afternoon,” Mr Poonawalla’s tweet read.
Earlier this month, India began the world’s largest inoculation drive after the drug regulator DCGI cleared two vaccines – the SII’s Covishield and Hyderabad-based pharma firm Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
Covishield has been developed in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.
Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) January 30, 2021
India is the fastest country in the world to vaccinate three million people, the government said in a series of tweets on Friday, drawing comparison with other nations.
Earlier this month, Mr Poonawalla said that his company would manufacture “upwards of 40-50 million doses per month” of the Novavax vaccine from around April. The efficacy of the Novavax vaccine was calculated at 95.6 per cent against the original coronavirus strain, and 85.6 per cent against the UK variant. But the level of protection was lower in a smaller, mid-stage trial conducted in South Africa.
Today marks one year of India’s fight against the novel coronavirus, which has affected over 1.07 crore people in the country.
“India has in these times of crisis fulfilled its global responsibilities from the beginning by setting up infrastructure related to vaccination. So far only two made-in-India vaccines have been introduced, but in the future many more vaccines will be made available,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said earlier this week, addressing a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.