Pune-based Serum Institute of India's (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala has said that his company will seek permission for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of 'Covishield' in the next two weeks. He made the announcement hours after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Serum's plant in Pune on Saturday, November 28.
Covishield is an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca in affiliation with the SII.
Earlier this month, Poonawalla said the company will focus on supplying vaccines to India first. "It is very important we take care of our country first, then go on to Covax after that and then other bilateral deals with countries. So, I've kept it in that priority," Poonawalla told reporters.
He also said in a tweet on November 23, "I am delighted to hear that, Covishield, a low-cost, logistically manageable & soon to be widely available, #COVID19 vaccine will offer protection up to 90% in one type of dosage regime and 62% in the other dosage regime. Further details on this, will be provided this evening,"
Poonawala added, "As of now, we do not have anything in writing with the government of India on how many doses they will purchase but the indication is that it would be 300-400 million doses by July 2021."
PM Modi, who visited Serum Institute's plant, said in a tweet on Saturday, "Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility."
The Prime Minister was on a three-city visit to review vaccine development in the country. He visited the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad where he was briefed about the company's 'indigenous COVID-19 vaccine'. PM Modi also went to the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to see the status of the vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila.