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Serum Institute likely to launch Covovax by August

The Pune-headquartered company will begin stockpiling this vaccine, which it will test on the Indian population in a bridging study, next month.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
March 18, 2021 4:21:03 am

Serum Institute of India (SII) expects to launch Covovax, the Covid vaccine developed by American vaccinemaker Novavax, by August, said CEO Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday. The Pune-headquartered company will begin stockpiling this vaccine, which it will test on the Indian population in a bridging study, next month.

“The good news is that we’re going to start stockpiling the product starting in the month of April, so that…we have a huge stockpile which we can then distribute the minute we’re licenced,” he said during the Bloomberg Equity Summit. However, it has become difficult for companies to reach their goal of supplying 2 billion doses by the end of the year to COVAX — the global Covid-19 vaccine facility under GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, CEPI and WHO.

“I think (meeting the goal by the) end of this year will probably be challenging….there are a lot of manufacturers who haven’t been able to supply to their commitments and timelines, including Serum Institute, to a certain extent,” said Poonawalla. It would take another 3-4 months for COVAX to receive the required doses from different manufacturers “because of vaccine nationalism,” according to him.

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