India‘s pharma giant Serum Institute has said that it will launch another vaccine for Covid-19 by June this year — this time, in collaboration with US-based Novavax. Bangladesh is using Serum’s Covishield vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca, for inoculating its citizens.
“Our partnership for a Covid-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!” Serum’s CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted Saturday. Novavax’sCovid jab was found to be 89.3 percent effective in a British trial, reports UNB.
On January 16, India rolled out the world’s largestCovidvaccination drive.Covishield and local company Bharat Biotech’s Covaxinare currently being given to frontline health workers across the country.
India is the fastest country in the world to vaccinate three million people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government tweeted on Friday. India has also sent jabs to neighbouring countries. And Bangladesh was the first to receivetwo million doses of Covishield as a gift from India. Dhaka has also inked a deal with Serum to buy 30 million doses of the vaccine.
India has reportedly requested Bangladesh to also begin early efficacy trials of Covaxin. Bharat Biotech is said to have already applied for the necessary approvals for its vaccine in Dhaka.
During the India-Bangladesh Foreign Office Consultations held in Delhi, where the foreign secretaries of both the countries were present, “the two countries held a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in the bilateral relationship, including in the areas of Covid-19 cooperation…,” the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in a statement Friday.