Coronavirus vaccine: Serum Institute of India (SII), world’s largest vaccine manufacturer has taken out a statement denying the current claims of Covisheild’s availability in the next 73 days. According to a tweet by news agency ANI, SII has clarified that claims being made in many media reports that indicate the availability of Coronavirus vaccine in the next 73 days is “false and conjectural.” The company said that so far, the central government has granted permission to the company only to manufacture Covishield and stockpile it so that it can be used in future.
Further, it added that Covishield will only be commercialized after the trials that are being conducted right now are successful and all the required approvals for regulation have been given. Till then, the vaccine will not be available in the market for usage against COVID-19 battle. It is to note that Covishield has been developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and is currently under phase II and phase III trials. According to the company, SII will only confirm the availability of this vaccine in India officially when the vaccine is proven as immunogenic as well as efficacious.
Serum Institute had earlier registered for Covishield’s phase II and III clinical trials with the Clinical Trials Registry of India (CTRI) where the company has decided to run the trials on 1,600 healthy volunteers across India. The approvals for conducting trials came on August 3 this year after SII signed an agreement with AstraZeneca.
Meanwhile in India, there are two indegenous vaccine candidates that are currently under human clinical trials. One vaccine candidate is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and the other candidate is Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D. Both of these vaccines have entered the second phase of clinical trials. However, there is no confirmation as to when they will be ready for mass manufacturing in India.