With the trials of pandemic vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University showing encouraging results, Adar Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India (SII) has said at least 300 million doses of the potential vaccine will be ready by December.
Each dose has 10 vials, the SII CEO added.
“Covishield is going to be the first pandemic vaccine we hope to launch if trials are successful in the UK and India,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla told media. Adar Poonawalla added that they expect the vaccine to reach the people of India in large numbers by the first quarter of 2021.
The Serum Institute, which is exclusively controlled by a small and fabulously rich Indian family and started out years ago as a horse farm, is doing what a few other companies in the race for a vaccine are doing: mass-producing hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine candidate that is still in trials and might not even work.
But if it does, Adar Poonawalla, Serum’s chief executive and the only child of the company’s founder, will become one of the most tugged-at men in the world. He will have on hand what everyone wants, possibly in greater quantities before anyone else.
His company, which has teamed up with the Oxford scientists developing the vaccine, was one of the first to boldly announce, in April, that it was going to mass-produce a vaccine before clinical trials even ended. Now, Mr. Poonawalla’s fastest vaccine assembly lines are being readied to crank out 500 doses each minute, and his phone rings endlessly.