Serum Institute produces 40 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

UK becomes first nation to approve Pfizer's Covid vaccine; rollout from next week

New Delhi (NVI): Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine producer, today said it has manufactured 40 million doses of AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine, and would soon begin making Novavax’s rival shot, as they both seek regulatory approval.

Serum Institute further said in a statement that it has enrolled 1,600 participants in India for late-stage trials of AstraZeneca’s candidate, and also plans to seek regulatory approval to run late-stage trials for the Novavax vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, co-developed by Oxford University, is the most advanced in human testing in India, Serum said.

While there are no COVID-19 vaccines approved yet and trials are still under way to prove they are safe and effective, leading drugmakers have been funded to begin production early to expedite deliveries, as the pandemic has killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide.

Earlier this week, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said their vaccine candidate had proven more than 90% effective based on initial trial results. Pfizer said it was committed to advancing its engagement with India’s government to supply its potential vaccine in the country.

Furthermore, SII has also announced the completion of enrolment of phase 3 clinical trials for COVISHIELD in India.

ICMR has funded the clinical trial site fees while SII has funded other expenses for COVISHIELD. At present, SII and ICMR are conducting Phase 2/3 clinical trial of COVISHIELD at 15 different centres, across the country.

-CHK