Oxford-AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine: Serum Institute says it will take a long time to reach everyone

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July 18, 2020 1:48 PM

“It will be a long time before everyone gets a vaccine because of the number of doses that needs to be administered,” said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute, who has partnered with Oxford-AstraZeneca to support in COVID-19 vaccine development.

COVID-19 vaccineSerum Institute plans to make millions of doses over the next three months once it gets the manufacturing license. (Photo: The Indian Express)

Scientists, doctors, researchers, healthcare experts, and pharmaceutical companies across the world are racing against time to develop a vaccine for COVID-18 as infections cross 14 million. Though success is still far away, Oxford-AstraZeneca is among the few who are nearing a breakthrough. Serum Institute of India Pvt, who recently got the DGCI approval to manufacture its indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine, has joined hands with AstraZeneca to support in developing the potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

According to reports, the University of Oxford might have a breakthrough soon in the development of COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers from the Oxford University said following early-stage human trials the team has discovered that the jab could provide “double protection” against coronavirus.

And the human trials showed that the dose of the potential vaccine has successfully managed to produce both antibodies and killer T-cells in the receiver’s body, they informed. They said the results were promising; some studies have indicated that antibodies may fade away within months but T-cells can stay in circulation for years.

Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate has entered the Phase III Human trials. The Phase 1 trial has shown promising results. Oxford will publish the complete data on July 20.

“It will be a long time before everyone gets a vaccine because of the number of doses that needs to be administered,” said Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla as reported by the Indian Express in an interview. He said that the first vaccine that is licensed may not necessarily be the best one.

“There are many different scientific approaches being taken to make the COVID-19 vaccine and we will have to wait and see which is the best vaccine to be given to the world,” Poonawalla said in the interview.

Regarding the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine, he said, it is among the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates. And Serum has “committed hundreds of millions of dollars” for its development as they believe in the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Poonawalla said he is expecting an announcement in two-three days. “We should wait for that and then comment on the phase 1 trials they have conducted,” he said.

Though he did not reveal the number of doses Serum has made so far, but he said, “We plan to make millions of doses over the next three months after we get the manufacturing license. We have committed hundreds of millions of dollars in Capex and Opex to start producing the vaccine.”

Serum-manufactured anti-TB shot VPM1002 is also under the clinical trial stage to assess if it can be used in the fight against COVID. “More than 1,000 patients have been vaccinated and in two months we will know whether it significantly reduces the severity of COVID or not,” he informed.

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