Adar Poonawalla led Serum Institute of India (SII) has reached out to the United States (US) government to clarify that it requires the raw materials for the advanced at-risk production of a still-to-be approved Covovax vaccine, and not for ramping up the manufacturing of Covishield, reports Livemint.
The development comes as the President Biden's administration recently announced that it would redirect its order of AstraZeneca’s manufacturing supplies to India to allow SII to make over 20 million doses of Covishield.
“Serum is in talks with top officials from the US government directly. They are trying to understand why they were given raw materials for Covishield when they asked for help for Covovax," a person aware of the development was quoted by LiveMint as saying.
SII had earlier indicated that it was planning to begin the at-risk manufacturing of Covovax in late April itself, even though it expects the roll-out of the vaccine to take place only around September.
Covovax has originally been developed by US-based pharmaceutical major Novavax. SII has signed a pact with the company to manufacture one billion doses for supply in India and other low and middle-income countries under the name of Covovax.
It should also be noted that Poonawalla had earlier indicated that just as in the case of Covishield, about half of the Covovax doses manufactured by it will be reserved for use in India.
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