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SII's Adar Poonawalla says Covovax first Indian COVID vaccine to be sold in Europe

New Delhi [India]: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday informed that the company has exported nearly 40 million COVID vaccine doses to European countries and Australia, and said that the Covovax is the first vaccine made in India to be sold in Europe.

Poonawalla, in an exclusive interview with ANI, said, "We have a stockpile of 200 million doses of Covishield...We've already exported 40 million doses of Covovax to European countries, Australia. It's for the first time that a vaccine made in India is sold in Europe."

Calling it an "important milestone, the CEO said, "We hope that in future other vaccines made in India will also be accepted and used in Europe."

Meanwhile, the Covovax has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for children above 12 years of age, but its administration has not been allowed yet.

To this, Poonawalla said, "Covovax will be used for children. It has been approved by DCGI and we're waiting for the Government of India to allow us to put it on the CoWIN app to make it available to everyone."

If it's taken in the government program also, then the SII will charge the same price of Rs 225 even for the private market, he informed.

When asked about the mix-and-match trials of COVID vaccines such that Covovax is used as a booster, Poonawalla said that SII has been asked to conduct a study on that.

"We will do that trial. Covovax, in about two or three months, can also be made available as a booster. But at the moment, it is approved for children of the age of 12 and above," he said.

Poonawalla has also requested the Centre to reduce the gap between the second and the third dose of the COVID vaccine to six months from the existing nine.

"The (vaccine inoculation) uptick right now is a bit slow...because we have got this rule that you have to wait for nine months between dose two and three. We have appealed to the govt on how to reduce this further to six months, will propose the six-month gap," he said. (ANI)

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