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MUM(BA)I/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, sees AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate as a “very good” choice, giving it a serious vote of confidence after some consultants raised questions round its trial knowledge.
Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with the British drugmaker to conduct trials on its COVISHIELD vaccine in India and produce the vaccine candidate if it secures approval, plans to use for an emergency use licence for the vaccine within the subsequent two weeks, stated SII’s Chief Govt Adar Poonawalla.
“This vaccine is a very good one,” stated Poonawalla, through a digital press briefing following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s go to to SII’s campus on Saturday.
“What we found with COVISHIELD in its global trial is there were zero hospitalisations, which means even if you do get infected you’re not going to have a severe attack and secondly even those who got the disease were not infecting others,” he stated.
Poonawalla’s feedback come as a lift to AstraZeneca after some scientists raised doubts in regards to the robustness of outcomes exhibiting the shot was 90% efficient in a sub-group of trial members who, by error initially, obtained a half dose adopted by a full dose.
He additionally famous that the AstraZeneca vaccine, together with the vaccine from Novavax – the U.S. vaccine developer that SII has additionally partnered with – provided a big edge over the vaccine candidates of sure rivals, which must be saved at a lot decrease temperatures.
“Both our vaccine candidates can be stored in 2 Celsius to 8 Celsius and India has lot of storage and infrastructure for that temperature range. It has slightly less storage capacity for -20 C and almost nothing for -70 C,” stated Poonawalla.
U.S. vaccine builders Moderna and Pfizer not too long ago introduced robust efficacy outcomes on their respective vaccine candidates, however each of their vaccines must be saved at very low temperatures that will current challenges for a lot of creating economies.
Moderna has stated its vaccine might be saved at regular fridge temperatures of two to eight levels Celsius for 30 days and it may be saved for as much as 6 months at -20C. Pfizer’s experimental vaccine should be saved at -70C over longer durations.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Nidhi Verma; Extra reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Enhancing by Alex Richardson and David Evans)