India’s Serum plans to launch Novavax shot for children in six months

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The Serum Institute of India (SII) plans to launch the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for children in the country in six months, its CEO said on Tuesday, adding global vaccine supplies was outstripping the absorption capacity of many countries.

The Novavaxshot, which the world’s largest producer of vaccines calls Covovax, has shown good results in trials in children aged three and older, Adar Poonawalla told a virtual conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

“Our vaccine will be launched in six months,” he said. “It is under trial and has shown excellent data down to the age group of 3.”

Apart from the Novavax vaccine that it has already exported to countries such as Indonesia, SII also makes the AstraZeneca and Sputnik shots.

SII’s monthly output of the AstraZeneca vaccine has nearly quadrupled since April to 250 million doses, and it has announced plans to temporarily halve that production due to weak demand.

Poonawalla said the current global vaccine supply was far bigger than what many countries could consume despite them inoculating only a fraction of their population, mainly due to infrastructure shortages.

“Globally, including in India, the supply has outmatched the demand,” he said. “Certain countries have only vaccinated to the tune of 10% or 15% of the population, they need to go to 60-70%.”

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