Adar Poonwalla
Adar Poonwalla

Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer (CEO), Serum Institute of India, has said that a safe and effective vaccine against coronavirus may be available in the country by early next year.

In an interview to Mint, Adar Poonawalla said that a COVID-19 vaccine is expected by January 2021 if trials succeed and approvals from regulatory bodies are in place in time. “Based on the success of the trials in India and the United Kingdom, and if approvals from regulatory bodies are in place in time, then we can expect the vaccine to be available in India by January 2021, only if its proven immunogenic and efficacious,” Poonawalla told the Mint.

Serum Institute of India has been in the spotlight for the past few months as it is to manufacture the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca in India. It began trials in the country in August-end and in last week of September, the third phase of human clinical trial began at the state-run Sassoon General Hospital in Pune.

Poonawalla also said that Serum Institute is in talks with the government over the pricing of the vaccine, ensuring that it will be made available at an affordable price. “We are certain that it will be affordable for all,” he added.

Serum Institute of India on September 29 said that it along with Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will manufacture an additional up to 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for India and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The latest collaboration between the partners brings the total number of vaccine doses to be covered to an aggregate of up to 200 million doses, SII said in a statement.

Meanwhile, India recorded 50,209 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, taking the overall cases in the country to 83,64,086, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's data on Thursday.

With 55,331 new discharges in the last 24 hours, the total active cases reached 5,27,962 and the cumulative recoveries are now at 77,11,809. The country's toll due to coronavirus surged to 1,24,315 after 704 new deaths.

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