Wed, 28 Jul 2021

NEW DELHI, June 16 (Xinhua) -- India's vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) hopes to launch its second COVID-19 vaccine Covovax in the country in September, local media said Wednesday.

The new vaccine is being developed in partnership with American vaccine developer Novavax, according to a local television business news channel CNBC-TV18, adding that the information was shared by SII's Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla during an interview.

"SII's Adar Poonawalla tells us that Covovax vaccine will be ready to be launched in India by September if regulatory nod is given," the channel said. "Novavax phase-III clinical trial data from the United States and Mexico showed 90.4 percent efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19."

At present, the trials for the vaccine are in an advanced stage of completion.

The pharma company is also planning to start clinical trials of Covovax for children in July.

In September 2020, Novavax announced a manufacturing agreement with SII for its COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373.

Poonawalla had earlier hoped to launch Covovax by June this year.

SII's first vaccine Covishield was developed in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca.

India started the vaccination against COVID-19 on Jan. 16 with two made-in-India vaccines, including Covishield and Covaxin. The inoculation drive is underway. Of late Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V was also rolled out in the country.

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