The Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla informed that the COVID-19 vaccination in India is likely to start by January 2021. He further said that his company is expecting to get emergency-use authorisation from the panel by month-end.
“By this month-end, we might get an emergency licence, but the actual licence for wider use might come in at a later date. But we are confident that if the regulators approve, India’s vaccination drive can start by January 2021,” Adar Poonawala said during an interaction at The Economic Times Global Business Summit on Saturday.
"Once 20% of India gets the coronavirus vaccine, we can hopefully see the confidence and sentiments coming back, and by September-October next year hopefully there will be enough vaccines for everyone and normal life can return," he said.
Poonawala said that the government wants to procure 300-400 million doses by July 2021 and Serum is preparing to manufacture enough coronavirus vaccines for the government as well as private markets.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has collaborated with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, and the University of Oxford for making the COVID-19 vaccine-‘Covidshield'.
SII is conducting trials of the vaccine in India.
However, there have also been controversy surrounding the vaccine being produced by Poonawalla's company with a volunteer for the Covidshield vaccine seeking Rs 5 crore compensation for the neurological complications he developed after being administered the test dose.
"Our client developed severe neurological health complications after he was given the test dose. We had sent a legal notice to the Serum Institute; Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR); AstraZeneca, UK; Drugs Controller General of India; Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator, Oxford Vaccine Trial; The Jenner Institute Laboratories, University of Oxford; and the Vice Chancellor of Sri Ramachandra Higher Education and Research," N.G.R. Prasad, Advocate, Row & Reddy, told IANS.