Pune: The prevalent strain of COVID-19 is mild and the Serum Institute of India (SII) has already produced five to six million doses of the Covovax vaccine, said the company's chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla on Saturday. Poonawalla was talking to media persons amid rising cases of coronavirus infections in the country since March.
India has recorded 12,193 fresh COVID-19 cases in a span of 24 hours, with the number of active cases of the infection going up to 67,556, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.
"Currently, the COVID strain is not severe, it's just a mild strain. Just for precautionary measures, elderly people can get the booster dose, but it would be their choice whether or not to take it. Five to six million doses of Covovax are available. We will also produce the same amount of Covishield doses in the next two to three months," said Poonawalla.
As per a health bulletin of the Maharashtra government on Friday, the XBB.1.16 variant of Omicron is currently the dominant strain in the state.
The Centre on Friday asked eight states, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, to maintain a strict watch and take preemptive action in any area of concern to control any emerging spread of infection.
"We are providing Covovax in the US and Europe. It is the only COVID vaccine made in India which is approved in the US and Europe. Currently, the demand is very small," Poonawalla added.
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