SII vaccine for 3+ kids by mid-2022, says Adar Poonawalla

The Covavax is a version of the US-based Novavax's Covid vaccine and the SII CEO said there is enough data to show that the vaccines will work and protect children from the Coronavirus.

Mumbai: The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) will launch Covavax — its vaccine for children aged above 3 years — in the next six months, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said here on Tuesday.

Covavax is currently under trial and has shown excellent results down to the age of 3 years, Poonawalla said while addressing an event at the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

The Covavax is a version of the US-based Novavax’s Covid vaccine and the SII CEO said there is enough data to show that the vaccines will work and protect children from the Coronavirus.

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While not commenting on what would happen with the Covid-19 variant Omicron, Poonawalla said so far children have not been affected by it very badly.

He advised people to get their children vaccinated as the vaccines are safe and effective.

Presently, India has approved only one vaccine for children above 12 years, manufactured by Zydus Healthcare, for emergency use.

Poonawalla said that over a billion-dollar investment went into developing and manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine and it has given several key lessons owing to the rapidly changing situation due to the mutating virus.

Concerning the Omicron, he said that SII is working towards developing a vaccine booster shot which is more effective.

“On the back of enough data, it is safe to say that booster vaccines are a proven strategy to get antibodies up to a great extent,” Poonawalla asserted.

Globally, the supply of vaccines has outmatched the demand and to keep up with the momentum, countries need to join and form some agreement in order to prepare standard rules for clinical trials and manufacturing of the vaccines.

Multilateral organisations and policy makers should be able to identify and isolate the new mutation/s of the virus and find out the efficacy of vaccines against it in a time-bound manner, he said.

Also present on the occasion were CII’s India@75 Council Chairman Rajan Navani and other prominent dignitaries.

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