Covishield ready to roll out in coming weeks: SII CEO

New Delhi, Jan 3 (Agency) Hours after the Drugs Controller General of India approved Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’ for restricted emergency use, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla announced that the vaccine is ready to roll out in the coming weeks. “Happy new year, everyone! All the risks @SerumInstIndia took with stockpiling the vaccine, have finally paid off. COVISHIELD, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine is approved, safe, effective and ready to roll-out in the coming weeks,” Poonawalla tweeted.

He further expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Dr HarshVardhan, among others for extending their support. “Thank you Hon. Sri @narendramodi Ji, Hon. Sri @drharshvardhan Ji, @MoHFW_INDIA @ICMRDELHI @DBTIndia #DCGI_India @UniofOxford @AstraZeneca @gavi @GaviSeth @gatesfoundation and @BillGates for your support,”Poonawalla said. The pharmaceutical giant had on December 7 sought an emergency use authorisation for its Covishield coronavirus vaccine from the Drugs Controller General of India. Experts say the Covishield vaccine is logistically feasible for distribution in urban and rural parts as it can be stored at two to eight degrees Celsius, which is an ideal temperature for being kept in cold storages in the country.