NEW DELHI: The Pune-based Serum Institute, which has partnered with Oxford University to produce covid vaccine, on Sunday clarified that Indian government has granted it permission to only manufacture the vaccine and stockpile it for future use.
Named Covishield, the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate which has been created using parts of adenovirus, will be commercialized once trials are proven successful and requisite regulatory approvals are in place, the company said.
The clarification comes after some reports suggested that the experiment vaccine, developed by Oxford University, could be launched in 73 days.
Phase-3 trials for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are underway and only once the vaccine is proven immunogenic and efficacious, SII will confirm its availability officially, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume said.
More trials likely to start in next few days.
Meanwhile, the apex health research body, ICMR, is in the process of developing an online vaccine portal which will provide information related to COVID-19 vaccine development in India and abroad, with the majority of the updates in several regional languages in addition to English.
The aim of creating the website is to provide all information and updates relating to the COVID-19 vaccine development on one platform as all the information in this regard is scattered as of now, Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at ICMR, told PTI on Saturday.
The idea behind making the updates available in regional languages is to make sure that every citizen is able to access the information.
The portal is likely to be functional by next week, Panda said.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that if everything goes well, India would get a vaccine by the end of this year.
Three COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including two indigenous ones, are in different phases of development in India.
The phase-one human clinical trials of the two indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidates, one developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the other by Zydus Cadila Ltd, have been completed and the trials have moved to phase-two, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava had said recently.
In a tweet in Hindi, Vardhan said on Saturday, “I hope that if everything goes well, India will get a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.”