New Delhi: After developing Covishield, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said his company has applied to start the trials of another COVID-19 vaccine called COVOVAX and he hopes to launch it by June 2021.Also Read - Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute Seek Full Market Approval For Covaxin, Covishield: DGCI To Review Proposals Today

Taking to Twitter, Poonawalla said the Serum is partnering with Novavax for the vaccine and it has also published excellent efficacy results. Also Read - COVAXIN Now Universal Vaccine For All, Product Development For Licensure Completed: Bharat Biotech

“Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!,” Poonawalla said in a tweet. Also Read - India Issues Emergency Use Authorisation For COVID-19 Vaccine Covovax | Full Details

The Serum Institute has already produced Covishield vaccine which was co-developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca. As the country has started vaccination drive, the Centre has purchased 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine for the ongoing inoculation drive.

Earlier this month, the country launched its mega COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world’s largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

Notably, the Covishield has been developed in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.

Interestingly, India is the fastest country in the world to vaccinate three million people, the government said in a series of tweets on Friday.

Taking to Twitter, Poonawalla earlier this month had said that his company would manufacture “upwards of 40-50 million doses per month” of the Novavax vaccine from around April.

Covishield has been developed in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.

Notably, the country till last week vaccinated nearly 16 lakh people against the deadly coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry said. Both the vaccines – COVAXIN and COVISHIELD — are being administered as part of the country’s extensive vaccination programme. Apart from this, four more vaccines against coronavirus are in pipeline for India.