Claims over coronavirus vaccine availability in India false, will confirm once trial results are out: SII

The claim by certain media houses that Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine candidate COVISHIELD will be available in India in the next 73 days are “completely false and conjectural”, the Serum Institute of India (SII), the Indian partner of the AstraZeneca clarified on Sunday.

a close up of a bottle© Provided by Jagran EnglishThe SII said that the official confirmation on COVISHIELD’s availability in India will be confirmed only after the vaccine is proven immunogenic and efficacious in human trials which are currently underway across the country.

“The current claims over COVISHIELD’s availability in the media are completely false and conjectural. Presently, the government has granted us permission to only manufacture the vaccine and stockpile it for future use,” a statement from the Serum Institute of India shared by news agency ANI read. 

The statement further stated that the phase-3 trials for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate are currently underway and the vaccine will be commercialised in India only after successful trials and necessary regulatory approvals.

“COVISHIELD will be commercialized once trials are proven successful & requisite regulatory approvals are in place. Phase-3 trials for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are underway. Only once the vaccine is proven immunogenic & efficacious, SII will confirm its availability officially,” it said.

The clarification from the SII came after a report published by Business Today claimed that the Oxford University-Astra-Zeneca vaccine candidate will be commercialised in 73 days. The website cited a top official from the SII as there source of information.

“The government has given us a ‘special manufacturing priority license’ and fast-tracked the trial protocol processes to get the trials completed in 58 days. By this, the first dosing is happening from today in the final phase (Phase III) and the second dosing will happen after 29 days.

“The final trial data will be out in another 15 days from the second dosing. By that time, we are planning to commercialise Covishield,” an SII official was quoted as saying by the website in its report.