After holding a review meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said that in the process of applying for emergency use authorization of Covishield in the next two weeks. He also said that there is an indication that the Centre may purchase 300-400 million doses by July 2021. "We are in the process of applying for emergency use authorization of Covishield in the next two weeks," Poonawala said.
"As of now, we don't have anything in writing with the govt of India on how many doses they will purchase but the indication is that it would be 300-400 million doses by July, 2021, he added.
Earlier today, PM Modi visited the Serum Institute of India in Pune to review COVID-19 vaccine development. Serum Institute's CEO praised PM and said that he is extremely knowledgeable now on vaccines and vaccine production and there was very little to explain to him.
"We were amazed at what he already knew. There was very little to explain to him, except for going into detail on different variable vaccines and the challenges that they may face ahead, " he said.
Talking about PM's visit to the facility, Poonawalla said, "We have built the largest pandemic level facility in Pune and our new campus in Mandri. That was also showcased to the PM with a tour around the facility and a lot of detailed discussions."
Poonawalla also said that the coronavirus vaccine will be distributed initially in India, and later in the COVAX countries which are mainly in Africa.
"The UK and European markets are being taken care of by AstraZeneca and Oxford. Our priority is India and COVAX countries," Poonawalla said.
PM Modi today undertook a three-city tour to conduct an extensive review of the vaccine development and manufacturing process. He visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, and Serum Institute of India in Pune.