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(Photo: ANI)
(Photo: ANI)

Companies approaching Serum to secure Covid vaccine for employees, says CEO

Speaking at an event, Poonawalla said that without indemnity for vaccine makers, supplies could be at risk

New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Thursday that Indian companies have reached out to drug maker to secure Covid-19 vaccines for their employees.

SII is the local manufacturer of Covishield, the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University.

While speaking at the Reuters Next event, Poonawalla also said that without indemnity for vaccine makers, supplies could be at risk.

He said the company is in talks to sell vaccines to Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, while adding that priority is India. He said the company is scaling up at the moment in India and will supply to other countries by end of January.

Poonawalla expects his company to supply 1 billion vaccine doses this year and also expects to complete Phase III safety immunogenicity trial in India in a month or two.

He said the WHO licensure for Covishield should come in a week or two.

The Serum Institute of India will start stockpiling millions of doses of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine candidate starting around April, Poonawalla told the Reuters Next conference on Thursday.

"Upwards of 40-50 million doses per month is what we are trying to stockpile starting from April," he said.

1.1 crore Covishield doses from Pune-based SII have been shipped to 60 consignee points across India from where they will be sent to smaller centres.

Around 3 lakh healthcare workers will be inoculated at 2,934 sites across the country on the first day of the massive nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive which is set to begin from January 16, official sources told


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