Covovax may launch by October: Adar Poonawalla after meeting Shah

Serum Institute of India (SII) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adar Poonawalla met Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday, August 6 and said that he is hopeful of another COVID-19 vaccine – Covovax, will be launched in October.

He also said that the vaccine for children is likely to be available in the first quarter of 2022, subject to approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

Covovax is a two-dose vaccine being manufactured by SII under a manufacturing agreement with US-based Novavax.

Thanking the government for its support, Poonawalla said that the company was not facing any financial crunch and was constantly trying to increase the production capacity of Kovishield to meet the demand.

He said that currently the company is producing 130 million doses per month.

An expert panel had previously recommended allowing SII to conduct phase two and three trials on children between the ages of 2 and 17 for Covvax.

Currently, all people over the age of 18 are being vaccinated in the country and reportedly SII had submitted a revised application to include a pediatric team in the ongoing trials.

Earlier on Friday, Poonawalla also met Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

“I appreciate his role in mitigating #COVID19 and assured the government’s support in expediting vaccine production,” the minister tweeted.