Pune’s Serum Institute of India applies for permission to start trials of ‘Covovax’ vaccine

Pune, 30 Jan (PTI): Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said his company has applied to start the trials of another COVID-19 vaccine and that it hopes to launch it by June 2021.

The city-based firm has already produced ‘Covishield’ vaccine, co-developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca. The Centre has purchased 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine for the ongoing inoculation drive.

In a tweet, Poonawalla said, “Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!”

The country launched its COVID-19 vaccination drive from 16 January in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world’s largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.