Serum Institute of India is expecting the Indian government to give approval to the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in the next few days, the company said on Monday.
As of now, the pharmaceutical company has already produced 40 to million doses of the Oxford vaccine and is aiming to ramp up production to at least 100 million doses a month by March, provided a new facility is established, Serum Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla reported.
He is also hoping to ramp up the production to 300 million doses of the vaccine by July 2021 to meet the rising demand, considering the new variants being identified in several parts of the world.
“We have 40-50 million doses of Covishield stockpiled. Once we get regulatory approvals in a few days, it’ll be down to the government to decide how much they can take and how fast,” Poonawalla said.
He also assured that all related data has been provided to the concerned authorities of the UK and India. “All data on Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine submitted in India and UK. The re are no concerns, regulators are closely reviewing documents and data,” he said.
Poonawalla has also reported that since India is a part of ‘COVAX’, at least 50 per cent of all the produce will be given to India. He also added that considering India’s population, “probably end up giving the majority of those 50 million doses to India first”.
Hinting towards a “good news from the UK very soon”, he notified that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is aiming to get licensed by January 2021.
Poonawalla has also warned of an expected shortage of the COVID-19 vaccines in the first half of the new year, but added that “we will see easing off by August-September 2021 as other vaccine manufactures will also be able to supply”