Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India, thanked all stakeholders after Covishield got final nod in India.(REUTERS)
‘Finally paid off’: Adar Poonawalla thanks PM Modi, DCGI after Covishield gets final approval
Even before getting the approval from the apex drug controller of India, Serum Institute of India stockpiled about 40-50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, taking a major risk.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 03, 2021 08:29 PM IST
For Serum Institute of India’s Adar Poonawalla, the happy new year moment came on Sunday after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave its final nod to Covishield, the vaccine which is being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and is manufactured in India by SII. Covishield got the nod for restricted emergency use in India after the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO’s)’s subject expert committee went through its data and recommended the vaccine.
Happy new year, everyone! All the risks @SerumInstIndia took with stockpiling the vaccine, have finally paid off. COVISHIELD, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine is approved, safe, effective and ready to roll-out in the coming weeks. pic.twitter.com/TcKh4bZIKK
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) January 3, 2021
“Happy new year, everyone! All the risks @SerumInstIndia took with stockpiling the vaccine, have finally paid off. COVISHIELD, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine is approved, safe, effective and ready to roll-out in the coming weeks,” Adar tweeted, thanking PM Modi, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and all other stakeholders including Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the department of biotechnology (DBT), the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), Gavi, the international vaccine alliance, and Gates Foundation etc.
Even before getting the approval from the apex drug controller of India, Serum Institute of India stockpiled about 40-50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, which involved a major risk in case its application got turned down by the drug regulator. The largest vaccine maker of the world, by the volume it produces, has also set a target of producing around 300 million doses of Covishield by July 2021.
Overall, Serum’s investment in Covishield has crossed $100 million. According to a Forbes interview, Adar Poonawalla in November said he has already spent $300 million and another $500 will be done in due course of time. Serum has set up a new company, Serum Institute Life Sciences, to support the new initiatives, which is a first-of-its kind “pandemic level” manufacturing facility in Pune.
Serum Institute has also collaborated with Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for manufacturing and delivering of up to 100 million doses of vaccines for other low and middle-income countries as part of the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).