Quite confident that EMA will approve Covishield in a month, says SII’s CEO Adar Poonawalla

On 30th June, the CEO and Chairman of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla said the biopharmaceuticals company is “quite confident” about receiving the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) approval for Covishield in a month.

The Covishield vaccine is developed by AstraZeneca along with Oxford University and produced by the Pune-based SII.


As of now, the EMA has not cleared the inclusion of the locally manufactured Covishield vaccine in the European Union (EU) COVID vaccination passport. Fully vaccinated individuals with Covishield will be unable to travel to Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic until the vaccine gets approved.

The CEO stated at India Global Forum 2021 that the European Union’s EMA is “absolutely correct” in asking the company to apply which a month ago, they had through their partners, AstraZeneca applied for the inclusion, and that the process needs to take its time. He continued, “An approval process even with UK MHRA, WHO took its time and we have applied to the EMA.”

On Tuesday, however, an EU official had informed ANI that no request for the approval of Covishield vaccine had been received.

SII had earlier urged the Centre to take up the matter with the EU and other countries while highlighting how the exclusion of its vaccine would impact students as well as business travellers.

Presently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford’s Vaxzervria and J&J’s Janssen have been approved by the EMA.