Serum Institute of India is ramping up production of AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. It is aiming to keep 100 million doses ready by December. India's inoculation drive could also begin in the same month. If the coronavirus candidate proves effective then SII might receive emergency use authorisation, said CEO Adar Poonawalla.
Poonawalla said that the initial amount would go to India. He said that full approval next year will allow 50-50 distribution with India and Covax, the WHO-backed body that purchases shots for poor nations, according to a report in Bloomberg.
Serum Institute has tied up with five developers that have made 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the past two months. They are aiming to start manufacturing of Novavax's candidate soon.
Poonawalla said that they were a bit concerned that it was a big risk but things are "looking pretty good" for both AstraZeneca and Novavax's shots.
The Serum Institute CEO said that it will take until 2024 to vaccinate the entire world and two years to see a real reduction in infection. He added that the challenge in India would be to get the vaccine to 1.3 billion people, especially in the countryside.
He added that AstraZeneca's vaccine would be easier than Pfizer. "In a pandemic, always remember that simplicity is the key," he said.