Oxford University's COVID vaccine could be ready to rollout from December - Serum Institute CEO!
Galatta | Oct 29, 2020, 09:17 pm
In the fight humanity is waging against the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic, we are yet to identify a perfect vaccine to inoculate humans against the deadly Virus. Russia has however, announced the registering of two vaccine candidates but the medical fraternity has not yet unanimously accepted it, as they have not yet completed the Phase 3 clinical trials which would prove their efficacy across a larger population sample. Meanwhile, reports state that various countries are working on over 150 other vaccine candidates but only about 10-15 of them are in the end stage of testing and close to being approved and moving into the manufacturing stage. One such vaccine which is nearing the completion of the Phase 3 human clinical trials is the vaccine candidate being jointly developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University.
This vaccine candidate, which goes by the name AZD1222 or Covishield, is also known as the Oxford vaccine. The Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with AstraZeneca and is conducting the Phase 3 Clinical trials of this vaccine candidate, currently. Though there were a few setbacks with a volunteer in the UK experiencing some unexplained illness and later a volunteer losing his life, both of these were cleared as it had nothing to do with the vaccine candidate and the authorities allowed the trials to resume. Now, the CEO of SII - Mr. Adar Poonawalla has stated that the Oxford Vaccine could be ready as early as December, this year! However, he added a condition that though the vaccine candidate has shown a lot of promise in the trials being conducted here, a lot depends on the data coming in from the UK as well as the approvals of the Drug Controller General of India.
The SII has an agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine in India and Poonawalla believes that the vaccine would be ready in December. He stated, "If we don't go for an emergency license, our trials should be over by December and then we can maybe launch in India in January, subject to the UK trial, which is on the verge of being completed." SII is aiming to manufacture 100 million doses at first and are expecting it to be ready for distribution by the second or third quarter of 2021. The Indian government has earlier given out signals that emergency authorisation of a vaccine candidate might happen if the absolute need arises. SII has floated a new company - Serum Institute of Life Sciences (SILS) to focus exclusively on developing, manufacturing and supplying Pandemic vaccines. Stay tuned for updates...