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Serum Institute is aiming to have 100 mn doses ready by December

As AstraZeneca reported on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects, Adar Poonawalla, whose Serum Institute is producing the shot in India said he was “delighted”. He said the low cost vaccine would soon be widely available.

“I am delighted to hear that, Covishield, a low-cost, logistically manageable & soon to be widely available, #COVID19 vaccine, will offer protection up to 90% in one type of dosage regime and 62% in the other dosage regime,” Adar Poonawalla tweeted.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being made in partnership with Serum Institute.

With an efficacy of around 90 per cent, positive results from an interim analysis of clinical trials of AZD1222 in the UK and Brazil the vaccine has proved to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 said AstraZeneca on Monday.

Oxford reported that one dosing regimen was 90 per cent effective when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month apart. Another dosing regimen shows 62 per cent efficacy when two full doses are given at least a month apart. The combined analysis has an average efficacy of 70 per cent, AstraZeneca said in a statement.

The Serum Institute of India is aiming to have 100 million doses ready by December for an inoculation drive that could begin across India that same month, Adar Poonawalla was quoted as saying by Bloomberg earlier this month.

The world’s biggest vaccine maker — which is partnered to produce at least one billion doses — may get emergency authorization from the government by December, he said.

Last week, Mr Poonawalla said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit that the Oxford vaccine should be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by around February 2021 and by April for the general public, and will be priced at a maximum of ₹ 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public, depending on the final trial results and regulatory approvals. NDTV

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