Adar Poonawalla breaks silence on SII -Covishield clinical trials; says 'stay patient for two months'

On Thursday, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla asked the media to refrain from reporting on data coming in about patients on SII-Covishield clinical trials and urged people to "stay patient for two months."

"I would kindly request the media to refrain, from reporting on interim data coming in about patients on the SII - Covishield clinical trials. Let us not bias the process. Let us respect the process and stay patient for two months, all the relevant data will be published soon," Poonawala said.

SII on August 23 clarified on news about availability of the vaccine in 73 days.

In a statement, it said, "Serum Institute of India would like to clarify that the current claims surrounding COVISHIELD's availability in the media are completely false and conjectural.

Presently, the government has granted us permission to only manufacture the vaccine and stockpile it for future use.

COVISHIELD will be commercialised once the trials are proven successful and all the requisite regulatory approvals are in place.

The phase-3 trials for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, are still underway. And only once the vaccine is proven immunogenic and efficacious, SII will confirm its availability, officially."

The second phase of the trial of COVID-19 vaccine began on August 26 at Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College. Two volunteers are being administered for the same. It was also reported that the clinical trials will soon be carried out at 17 centres across India.

SII, the world's largest vaccine maker has signed an agreement to manufacture the potential vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.

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