Serum Institute of India begins trial for another COVID-19 vaccine

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NEW DELHI, March 27 (Xinhua) — India’s vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) on Saturday said trials for its second COVID-19 vaccine Covovax have begun in the country.

The new vaccine is being developed in partnership with U.S. vaccine developer Novavax.

The vaccine has been tested against COVID-19 variants found in Africa and Britain and has an overall efficacy of 89 percent, SII’s CEO Adar Poonawalla wrote on social media, adding that the vaccine is hoped to be launched by September this year.

Poonawalla had earlier hoped to launch Covovax by June this year.

The SII’s first vaccine Covishield was developed in partnership with Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca.

India kicked off the nationwide vaccination drive against COVID-19 on Jan. 16.

Initially, healthcare and frontline workers were vaccinated, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities.

From April 1, people who are 45-years-old or older will be vaccinated. Enditem

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