Applying for emergency use of Covid vaccine in 2 weeks: Serum Institute
New Delhi, Nov 28: The Serum Institute is in the process of applying for emergency use licensure for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covishield in next two weeks.
Addressing a virtual press conference on the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the company''s Pune facility, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said: "We discussed the plan, the implementation plan which will happen only after the emergency use licensure, that is granted based on the data that will have to be submitted. We are in the process of submitting that officially to the drug controller of India...".
When asked if the company has applied for the emergency authorisation, Poonawalla said: "We are in the process of applying in next two weeks for an emergency use licensure."
The vaccine will be distributed initially in India and then the company will look at Covax countries, which are mainly in Africa, he added.
Serum Institute of India (SII) is conducting clinical trials of AstraZeneca-Oxford''s COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India.
Poonawalla also said it was a special day for the company with the Prime Minister visiting them to go into details on the manufacturing status not only its plants in Pune but on various partnerships and the impact the vaccine industry is going to have to India and the globe.
In a tweet, the prime minister said: "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."
Poonawalla said, "Worldwide everybody is now dependent and is looking forward to the vaccines coming out in large volumes and at affordable price from India as everybody already knows that more than 50 to 60 per cent of all vaccines are made in India."
With the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision in mind, Serum Institute has built the largest pandemic level facility in Pune in its sister campus at Manjri and that was showcased also to the Prime Minister, he added.
Earlier in a tweet, Adar Poonawalla said: "Thank you @narendramodi for visiting @SerumInstIndia. We share your vision and continue to work towards ensuring a safe and secure India".
In another tweet, he said: "Sri @narendramodi Ji, it was a great honour for you to have spared the time, to visit us here at @SerumInstIndia to discuss in detail, the complex challenges yet to come and review the vaccine production status. @PMOIndia".
Earlier in the day, Modi visited Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, and Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad to review the development and manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccines.