Pune: Animal trials for a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic are already underway. The vaccine will be available but only within a year. However, it is not likely to be 100% effective. These are the words of the Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla.
The institute has a budget of $100 million to develop the vaccine. Pune-based SII will apply for clinical trials and imports of certain strains to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) next month, said Poonawala, while speaking to The Economic Times.
“We need to be very clear this is not a 100% solution and cure. Maybe 60-70% of people who take the vaccine will have that protection, the rest may still get the disease despite being vaccinated,” Poonawalla said, adding that the economic danger of the outbreak was exponentially greater than its health risks.
SII has been working on two vaccine candidates, but the one for Covid-19, which it has partnered with US-based Codagenix is likely to be available by 2021.
SII has also partnered with Paris-based Sanofi Pasteur to jointly develop a live attenuated vaccine to fight the virus and will soon conduct animal trials for the same too.
“There has been a lot of panic, hysteria and there has been a big response from the public and health services to contain this contagion, which I don’t think is that deadly. This was never the case during H1N1 or Ebola. The total cases are about 3-4% of that overall deaths are around 1% . There are probably more car accidents than deaths due to coronavirus,” he further told The Economic Times.