Poonawalla’s Serum Institute to start Covid-19 vaccine production outside India
In order to meet the vaccine supply commitments and growing needs in India amid rising daily cases of Covid-19, Serum Institute of India is planning to commence vaccine production in other countries. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Pune based Serum Institute of India said that the decision of taking vaccine production outside India is keeping in mind difficulty in keeping up with commitments to supply Covid-19 vaccines across States.
Serum Institute is manufacturing Covishield vaccine, a tweaked version of AstraZeneca-Oxford developed Covid-19 vaccine.
Poonawalla said in an interview published on Friday, ‘There’s going to be an announcement in the next few days”. Last week Poonawalla had said that the leading vaccine manufacturer would be able to increase vaccine monthly output to 100 million doses by July end. This is a delayed timeline than previously announced date of end of May. Poonawalla added that he hopes Serum Institute could increase capacity of vaccine production from 2.5 billion to 3 billion doses per year in six months.
India is currently going through one of the most disastrous and calamitous phases across States. Every day is recording a new daily spike of new Covid-19 cases with Friday marking a new global record of crossing 4 lakh Covide-19 cases in 24 hours. The surge in daily Covid-19 cases in India has ushered massive pressure on healthcare infrastructure – shortage of medical oxygen in hospitals, unavailability of hospital beds, shortage of medicines required for Covid-19 patients – are all adding to strain on healthcare sector as cases continue to mount up with rise in death tally also. Some scientists have predicted that India’s peak of coronavirus cases can strike between May 3-5.
Experts have underlined the reason of recent surge in India as complacency of Indian government that eased out restrictions as new cases had dropped down to 10,000 per day, indicating pandemic under control.