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Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by December

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New Delhi, Oct 29: The Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield', being developed by Oxford University, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), could be ready as early as December.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute, in an interview with NDTV, further said the first batch of 100 million doses should be available by the second or third quarter of 2021.

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"If we don't go for an emergency license, our trials should be over by December and then we can maybe we can launch in India in January subject to the UK trial, which is on the verge of being completed," Poonawalla said.

The SII has partnered with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca for manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, being developed by the University of Oxford.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had on September 11 directed the SII to suspend any new recruitment in the phase-II and III clinical trial of the vaccine till further orders after AstraZeneca paused the trials in other countries because of "an unexplained illness" in a participant in the study.

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However, on September 15, DCGI allowed the Serum Institute to restart its phase two and three clinical trials for the Covishield Vaccine after the pharma major submitted the recommendations of the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), UK and DSMB India and requested permission to restart enrolment in the subject clinical trial of the vaccine.

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    The centre has said that three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, of which one is in Phase II and two are in Phase III. The government had previously estimated that it is likely to receive and utilise 400-500 million doses of Covid vaccine and that as many as 25 crore individuals could be vaccinated by July 2021.

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