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AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate may be available by year-end, says SII

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 03, 2020 Published on July 03, 2020

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India

The Serum Institute of India (SII), one of the partner firms for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, said on Thursday that it is hopeful of the vaccine candidate being made available by this year-end.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla in an interview with The Tribune had said that he was optimistic about the vaccine being available by this year-end and expects to mass-produce the same.

The vaccine developed by the University of Oxford had entered its final phase of human trials last week. Poonawalla hopes that it will provide its safety and efficacy in prevention against Covid-19 “soon”, the report said.

Human trial soon

The company is also planning to conduct human trials for the final phase of the vaccine in India as well, the report said.

AstraZeneca had signed a licensing agreement with Serum earlier this month to supply one billion doses for low and middle-income countries, with a commitment to provide 400 million before the end of 2020, as per previous reports.

The vaccine AZD1222 candidate has reached the final stage of clinical trials. Scientists in South Africa and Brazil have already begun the clinical trials of the vaccine.

Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford on Wednesday, had said that 8,000 volunteers had been enrolled for trials and the team had witnessed the correct sort of immune response. However, Gilbert had declined to provide a fixed timeframe for the trials.

The vaccine has also been deemed as a front-runner in the vaccine race by the World Health Organisation.

“Certainly in terms of how advanced they are, the stage at which they are, they are I think probably the leading candidate,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan had said at a press briefing last week.

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Published on July 03, 2020
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