Poonawalla’s company has partnered with Oxford University as one of the seven global institutions manufacturing the vaccine (Photo: RAVEENDRAN/AFP via Getty Images).

Indian vaccine tycoon Cyrus S Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India (SII) has said it plans to start production of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in the next two to three weeks.

The Pune, India-based company hopes to bring the vaccine to the market by October if the human clinical trials are successful.

Poonawalla’s company has partnered with Oxford University as one of the seven global institutions manufacturing the vaccine.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said: “Our team has been working closely with Dr Hill from Oxford University, and we are expecting to initiate production of the vaccine in two to three weeks and produce five million doses per month for the first six months, following which, we hope to scale up production to 10 million doses per month”.

“We expect the (Covid-19) vaccine to be out in the market by September – October, only if the trials are successful with the requisite safety and assured efficacy. We will be starting trials in India for this vaccine hopefully over the next 2-3 weeks’ time”.

SII will be manufacturing the vaccine in anticipation of clinical trials succeeding by September to October in the UK, Poonawalla pointed out.

Meanwhile, a million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine being developed by British scientists at Oxford University are already being manufactured, even before trials prove whether the shot is effective, the team said earlier this month.

The  Oxford scientists said their vaccine would be available by September, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Sanofi SA, who earlier said they would develop a vaccine, forecast that it would not be available until the second half of 2021.

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