AstraZeneca vaccine production line.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
It has been told that the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, must first meet the domestic demand for Covid-19 injections before distributing it overseas.
This move means that foreign governments may face delays in the company̵
“Dear country and government, as you wait for #COVISHIELD consumables, I humbly ask you to wait patiently,” CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted.
He said that the purpose of the Serum Institute of India (SII) is to prioritize India’s huge needs and strive to be the best while balancing the needs of the rest of the world.
Poonawalla did not elaborate on who gave the instructions.
When CNBC contacted Sona, SII declined to comment further on Poonawalla’s tweet.
The Serum Institute is manufacturing a vaccine developed by the British and Swiss pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The vaccine is locally called Covishield.
It is one of two vaccines that have received emergency approval for use in a mass vaccination campaign in India. The goal of the campaign is to vaccinate approximately 300 million people in the first phase, most of which are frontline workers and those over 50 years of age or older. High-risk groups.
Another vaccine that received emergency approval was developed locally by Bharat Biotech in India. It was created in collaboration with the state-run Indian Medical Research Council and received emergency use authorization as clinical trials continue.
According to the Indian government, since the start of the vaccination campaign in January, as of February 20, India has vaccinated 10.8 million people. It is expected that the daily vaccination volume will increase in the coming months.
An army health worker prepares the Covishield, AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India at a military hospital in Colombo on January 29, 2021.
Logo S. Kodikara | AFP | Getty Images
This month, Covishield also obtained the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use list, which can be provided to low- and middle-income countries around the world.
AstraZeneca stated that it hopes to provide more than 300 million doses of vaccine to 145 countries in the first half of 2021 through Covax, a global vaccination program led by WHO and other organizations.
Compared with other vaccines in use, Covishield is cheaper, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines. It also does not require storage at ultra-low temperatures, which makes it suitable for use in many developing countries that lack the necessary storage infrastructure.