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India’s Serum Institute says prioritising domestic vaccine needs, asks for patience

21 February 2021 08:32 pm - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest vaccine maker by volume, on Sunday asked for patience from foreign governments awaiting their supply of COVID-19 shots, saying it had been directed to prioritise India’s requirements.

"...I humbly request you to please be patient," SII's Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said in a tweet here, adding the company "has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world."

We are trying our best,” Poonawalla said.

Based in the western Indian city of Pune, the company is manufacturing the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, one of the two shots that India is using to initially vaccinate some 300 million people as part of a national inoculation drive, the Reuters reported.

Many low-and middle-income countries, ranging from Bangladesh to Brazil, are depending on SII’s AstraZeneca vaccine, branded COVISHIELD by the Indian company.

But demand is growing, including from Western countries like Canada, where Poonawalla has promised to deliver the COVISHIELD vaccine next month.

Britain’s drug regulator is also auditing manufacturing processes at SII, potentially paving the way for the COVISHIELD vaccine to be shipped from there to the UK and other countries..

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has come under criticism for the slow take-off of its vaccination drive but health authorities are preparing to expand the number of inoculation substantially in coming weeks.

India has vaccinated around 11 million people since mid-January.

With more than 10.9 million confirmed infections, India has the world’s second highest number of COVID-19 cases, behind only the United States.

The country is currently reporting around 12,000 new infections on average each day, a fraction of its peak from last September, according to a Reuters analysis.

But federal health authorities on Sunday said they had written to some states that are currently seeing a surge in cases, asking them to improve overall testing, surveillance and monitoring of COVID-19 mutations.

  Comments - 10

  • Eric Nathan Monday, 22 February 2021 12:11 AM

    I am reading all the time from Indian papers that Western countries are requesting for the Indian made AstraZeneca vaccines, but to the best of my knowledge none of the Western countries have ordered for the Indian Vaccines.

    European Monday, 22 February 2021 07:46 AM

    You are right, India is never mentioned here.

    Selvakumar Monday, 22 February 2021 08:24 AM

    Any countries produced the Vaccines Feedback's almost great but recover time different !!!

    RoaringCreek Monday, 22 February 2021 07:44 AM

    The Sri Lanka government was sitting on its bum without ordering the vaccine. No funds were allocated by the budget whereas funds was allocated for building roads and culverts. Why, one projects where % can be collected undetected was approved in the budget.

    Ranaweera Monday, 22 February 2021 08:42 AM

    UK has ordered this vaccine as well as Canada. US doctors say that any vaccine you can have is better than nothing.

    Reddy Monday, 22 February 2021 08:58 AM

    Sri Lankan’s must be seething with jealousy.

    FF Monday, 22 February 2021 09:52 AM


    Kumaran, Wattala Monday, 22 February 2021 10:22 AM

    Govt should have foreseen this problem very much earlier. But they were playing politics in this grave situation. At least try to put a stop to all unimportant projects and allocate this money to purchase the vaccines from wherever it is available and save the citizens.

    Rishan Monday, 22 February 2021 10:58 AM

    why Italy , German, Sweden or France produce this Covid Vaccine ?

    brainmaster Monday, 22 February 2021 04:25 PM

    Sure India doesn't have any priority to supply vaccins to SL, after the shabby treatment given to them by our government.

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