New Delhi: Pune-based vaccine major Serum Institute of India is planning to start production of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in the next two to three weeks. Not only that, it is also hoping to bring it to the market by October if the human clinical trials are successful. Also Read - Lockdown 5.0 News: Dine-in Restaurants, Beaches to Open From June 1 With Limited Visitors, Mandatory Aarogy Setu App

“Our team has been working closely with Dr Hill from Oxford University, and we are expecting to initiate production of the vaccine in 2-3 weeks and produce 5 million doses per month for the first 6 months, following which, we hope to scale up production to 10 million doses per month,” Serum Institute India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said. Also Read - 4 Steps Ahead of COVID-19, Can't be in Permanent Shutdown, Says Kejriwal Ahead of Possible Lockdown Extension

“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,” Poonawalla said. Also Read - Viswanathan Anand Set to Return Home After Being Stuck in Germany For Over Three Months Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

“Following that, we have undertaken the decision to initiate manufacturing at our own risk. The decision has been solely taken to have a jump-start on manufacturing, to have enough doses available, if the clinical trials prove successful,” Poonawalla said.

Notably, the Pune-based company has partnered with Oxford University as one of the seven global institutions manufacturing the vaccine.

In the past, SII had collaborated with scientists at Oxford University for a malaria vaccine project.

The company plans to initiate the trials in India for the vaccine with necessary regulatory approvals, which are underway presently.