Business Standard and various other media reports that Pune based Serum Institute’s ‘Covishield’- will be commercialised in 73 days. Further they added that Indians will receive Free Vaccine under the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) as Indian government plans to source 68 Crore ‘Covishield Vaccine’ from Serum Institute (SII).
But the fact is that Serum Institute of India (SII), has clarified that current claims on availability of Covishield vaccine are false and hypothetical. Further clarification stated that the government has granted it permission to only manufacture Covishield and stockpile it for future use, according to news agency ANI. It has also said, according to ANI, that Covishield will be commercialised once trials are proven successful and requisite regulatory approvals are in place.
Officials of SII said that they have registered with the Clinical Trials Registry of India (CTRI) for Phase II and Phase III. Phase III trials have started and are under process. The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer will confirm its availability officially only once the vaccine is proven immunogenic and efficacious, ANI reported.
About Serum Institute of India
Serum Institute of India (SII) is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines. It was founded by Cyrus Poonawalla in 1966. The company produces around 130 crore doses of vaccines each year. The products developed include tuberculosis vaccine Tubervac (BCG), Poliovac for poliomyelitis, and other vaccinations for the childhood vaccination schedule. The SII has developed a vaccine on Swine flu and anti-rabies vaccine Rabishield.
The company has tied up with pharma firm AstraZeneca, which is developing a vaccine named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in partnership with Oxford University.
The sources said the vaccine will belong to Serum Institute, as the company has entered into an exclusive agreement with AstraZeneca to buy rights and pay a royalty fee for exclusively selling it in India and 92 other countries.
Meanwhile Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday that the country will have a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus by the end of the year. “I hope that if everything goes well, India will have access to a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020,” the minister tweeted later.
In India currently 3 firms are doing research on Corona vaccine. Covishield, developed by Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune; Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research; and the third is ZycovD by Zydus Cadila.