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Coronavirus: Indian company dismisses claims its ‘vaccine will be ready in 73 days’

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India’s Serum Institute (SII), the pharmaceutical giant behind a potential COVID-19 vaccine, has dismissed reports that its drug will be ready in 73 days as untrue.

“Serum Institute of India, would like to clarify that the current claims surrounding COVISHIELD’s availability in the media are completely false and conjectural,” the company said in a statement posted on its social media accounts.

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“Presently, the government has granted us permission to only manufacture the vaccine and stockpile it for future use. COVISHIELD will be commercialized once the trials are proven successful and all the requisite regulatory approvals are in place,” the statement added.

Initially, Indian business magazine Business Today ran a report on Sunday claiming a top official at SII exclusively confirming to that the COVISHIELD vaccine would be ready in 73 days.

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“The government has given us a ‘special manufacturing priority license’ and fast-tracked the trial protocol processes to get the trials completed in 58 days. By this, the first dosing is happening from today in the final phase (Phase III) and the second dosing will happen after 29 days. The final trial data will be out in another 15 days from the second dosing. By that time, we are planning to commercialize COVISHIELD,” Business Today quoted a senior top official as saying.

Earlier this month SII entered into a partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and low- and middle-income countries.