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Serum Institute’s Cyrus Poonawalla says expect regulatory nod for COVID vaccine in India in next few days

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Serum Institute of India’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to receive regulatory approval in the country in the next few days, said Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of the pharma company on Wednesday. In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Poonawalla said that while the UK government’s approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is a big development, the company is still waiting for the Indian government’s nod and the Union Health Ministry’s commitment for purchase.

Serum Institute of India’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to receive regulatory approval in the country in the next few days, said Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of the pharma company on Wednesday. In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Poonawalla said that while the UK government’s approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is a big development, the company is still waiting for the Indian government’s nod and the Union Health Ministry’s commitment for purchase.
Poonawalla said, “We are much in touch with Drugs Controller General of India, and they were sort of maybe by the end of this week or next week for sure license us on the basis of approvals that our collaborators in England that is AstraZeneca and Oxford have already been accorded with. I don’t think licensing of the vaccine made by Serum Institute of India should be far away, maybe a few days from today.”
On orders from the Union health ministry, he said, “Health ministry has still not given us the order or commitment to buy not even 10 or 20 million doses as of now. The Indian government haven’t given us any firm commitment and we are really looking forward from the government at this stage to release their requirements to us.”
On pricing, Poonawalla said, “We will certainly won’t run in loss because of the scale of manufacturing, but we don’t envisage too much of profit from it.
On supplying vaccine to COVAX countries, he said, “We are not very anxious to start supplying immediately because India comes first and then the private market of India comes along with that or second or simultaneously or depending on what permissions government releases us and then only we will look at other countries.”
Watch the video for the full interview
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