The Centre has given indications that it would need 300-400 million Covishield doses from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India by July 2021, as part of the combat strategy against the sweeping Covid-19 viral pandemic, CEO Poonawalla said.
The Covidshield vaccine is being developed jointly by the Oxford University, AstraZeneca and SII. SII is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent time on yesterday evening to check on the vaccine status. Mod was accorded a warm welcome by SII’s Founder-Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla, CEO Adar Poonawalla, his wife and Executive Director Natasha A. Poonawalla and other officials.
Poonawalla said, “As of now, we don’t have anything in writing with the govt of India on how many doses they will purchase but the indication is that it would be 300-400 million doses by July, 2021.” He also said, “Vaccine will be distributed initially in India, then we will look at the COVAX countries which are mainly in Africa. The UK & European markets are being taken care of by AstraZeneca & Oxford. Our priority is India & COVAX countries.”
The PM came to the SII during his daylong flying visits to three cities where he visited the facilities engaged in developing COVID-19 vaccine, including Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad.