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Covid Vaccine For Children Aged 3 Plus To Be Launched By June 2022, Says Poonawala

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Mumbai: India is now much better prepared to deal with catastrophe like the Covid-19 pandemic and hopefully the worst is behind us all, said Chief Eexcutive Officer of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawala on Tuesday. 

The Centre has been working towards creating an effective healthcare system and has made enough provision for hospital beds and oxygen, said Poonawala, at the CII Partnership Summit 2021, organised in association with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The Serum CEO said globally the supply of the vaccines has outmatched its demand. To keep up with the momentum, countries need to come together and form some agreement in order to prepare standard rules for clinical trials and manufacturing of the vaccines. Multilateral organisations and policy makers should be able to identify and isolate the new mutation/s and find out the efficacy of vaccine against it in a time-bound manner. Joining the two other companies which are working towards developing the vaccine for children, SII has reached the trial phase of the vaccine for the children aged above 3 and should be ready within the next six months, Poonawala said.

With over a billion-dollar investment that has gone into developing and manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine, the journey so far has given us several key lessons owing to the rapidly changing situation in accordance with the mutating virus, said Poonawala.

On the Omicron virus, Poonawala said that they are working towards developing the vaccine booster shot which is more effective. “On the back of enough data, it is safe to say that booster vaccines are a proven strategy to get antibodies up to a great extent,” he said.

Appreciating the central government’s role in tackling the challenges posed by the pandemic in the past two years, he said going forward, the government and industry should work even more closely to further improve the business environment and simplifying the rules and regulations for manufacturers to expand the sector.

Rajan Navani, chairman, CII’s India@75 Council and Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Jetline Industries, said Omicron has created fresh challenges for the world. He referred to CII’s India@75 campaign which has been working on several areas since 2008.

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