Covid: Indian vaccine maker working on 'more effective' booster shot against Omicron

Booster vaccines are a proven strategy to increase antibodies, CEO Adar Poonawalla says


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AFP file photo
AFP file photo

Published: Tue 14 Dec 2021, 4:42 PM

The Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday said that they are working towards developing a vaccine booster shot which is more effective against Omicron virus.

Poonawalla said that on the basis of enough data, it is safe to say that booster vaccines are a proven strategy to increase antibodies to a great extent.

Covid vaccines for children aged above three years will be launched in the next six months, Poonawala said.

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“After two years of the pandemic, India is now better prepared to deal with such a catastrophe, and hopefully the worst is behind us all. The Government of India has been working towards creating an effective healthcare system and has made enough provisions for hospital beds and oxygen,” Adar Poonawalla said during the CII Partnership Summit 2021, organised in association with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

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

Poonawalla said that globally, the supply of 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 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. It should be ready within the next 6 months,” he said.

Commending the Government of India’s role in tackling the challenges posed by the pandemic in the last two years, he stated that going forward, the government and the industry should work even more closely to further improve the business environment and simplify 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, noted that 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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