AP Interview: India May Resume Vaccine Exports By June

Vials of AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccine for COVID-19 will be found on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at the Serum Institute of India Filling Lab in Pune, India. In January. The country is expanding its drive to include everyone over the age of 45 from Thursday, April 1st. By highlighting the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines and a major global supplier, and addressing domestic cases, the UN-sponsored COVAX program, regardless of national wealth, An initiative designed to make vaccines available, with 90 million doses available. (AP Photo / Rafiq Maqbool)

New Delhi (AP) — India’s largest vaccine maker will be able to resume exporting AstraZeneca doses by June if the new coronavirus infection subsides in the country, its CEO said. Said on Tuesday.

However, India’s Serum Institute needs to meet domestic needs, which could lead to further delays if the surge continues, Adar Poonawalla warned in an interview with the Associated Press.

The company is a leading supplier of UN-sponsored COVAX programs aimed at the equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide. On March 25, COVAX announced that the rapid increase in infections in India caused the Serum Institute of India to meet domestic demand and delayed up to 90 million worldwide shipments, resulting in a significant slowdown in vaccine deployment. Did.

Since then, daily new infections in India have almost doubled, with more than 100,000 new cases surged the most in a day on Monday. Infections are reported earlier in India than anywhere else in the world, and virus regulation is tightening in New Delhi and its financial capital, Mumbai.

India initially vaccinated the most vulnerable people, but due to the surge in cases, it expanded vaccination to all people over the age of 45 on April 1. Exports were suspended due to the resulting increase in demand. Since then, senior state officials have urged the federal government to further expand vaccination.

The company “chosen to temporarily prioritize India for two months,” Punawara said, and hopes to resume exports afterwards.

If the surge in infectious diseases in India does not subside, “I’m … scared of what we have to do and what will happen,” he said. “We need to keep supplying to India, not anywhere else, because we have to protect the country.”

He admitted that he was “burdening his contractual obligations” to provide vaccines to other countries and that he was responding to calls from various heads of state.

“I had to explain the situation politely to everyone,” he said, adding that most world leaders understood that they faced the same problem.

“Nationalism … is happening everywhere, to some extent,” said Punawara in the United States of Vaccine Export Regulations imposed by Europe and the Defense Production Act to prevent the export of important raw materials needed to expand vaccine production. Pointed out the use of. ..

He said the lack of availability of these ingredients, such as the specific medium needed to grow the microbes, could affect the production of another vaccine, Novabax’s Serum Institute, which is still being tested in India. Said. He signed a contract to supply Novavax to COVAX, but pivoting to various suppliers of raw materials would result in a delay of 5-6 months, he said.

“The crisis of supplies is today,” he said.


The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

AP Interview: India May Resume Vaccine Exports By June

Source link AP Interview: India May Resume Vaccine Exports By June

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