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COVIDSHIELD: INDIA TO GET 100 MILLION AstraZeneca VACCINE SHOTS BY DECEMBER 2020

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With COVID 19 cases in India soaring to a shocking 8.73 million and 1,29,000 fatalities, there is a sigh of relief, as, SERUM Institute of India has produced  about 40 million doses of ‘Covidshield’ the coronavirus vaccination in past two  months, that has been developed by joint collaboration between University of  Oxford and British biopharma company AstraZeneca. 

SERUM Institute of India (SII) is set to produce 100 million doses of the vaccine,  under agreement with AstraZeneca, and the same may also get  emergency use authorization from GoI, if the result of the final-stage trial of the  vaccine is encouraging. SII also aims to begin manufacturing Novavax Inc.’s contender soon. 

On Thursday, the Indian Council of Medical Research said that and to quote “Covishield could be a realistic solution to the pandemic” and also claimed that it had completed enrolment for phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine candidate in India. 

Mr. Poonawalla the CEO of SII, said in an interview that, a full approval for the  vaccine that is expected early next year will allow them the distribution of the  vaccine on a 50-50 basis to the South Asian nation and Covax, the World Health  Organization-backed body that is purchasing shots for poor nations. 

He also said that AstraZeneca’s vaccine has a critical advantage over its rival  candidate from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, as Pfizer’s vaccine which they  claimed to be, more than 90% effective in stopping Covid-19 infections , needs  to be transported and stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius and thus, requires an  expensive cold-chain infrastructure, which according to Poonawalla is “just  impossible” for most of the world when compared to the vaccine that his  company will produce which can be stored at fridge temperatures. 

According to the reports, the Indian government had set aside about Rs 50,000 crore ($6.7 billion) for COVID-19 vaccines on which Poonawalla had argued , India may need Rs 80,000 crore to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone. 

He also dwelled on the fact that it will take two years to witness actual reductions in the rate of infection because of affordability and manufacturing  hurdles and it will take until 2024 to vaccinate the entire world.

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Written by Eva Garg

Her name is Eva Garg, which means ‘Life’, in case you are wondering. She’s a writer by
passion and a lawyer by profession which allows her to voice and channelize her opinions in
her conceptualized writings. She identifies herself as a minimalist artist who has faith in
sustainable artwork and is very enthusiastic about environment.

She is fervid about different genres of music and recognizes herself as an old school rock
and roll aficionado who wants to own a record player one-day.

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