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Thursday, May 06, 2021

FT quotes Adar: Dose shortage to go on till July

According to a ‘Financial Times’ report, Poonawalla has said that production of vaccines is expected to increase in July from about 60 - 70 million doses a month to about 100million.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: May 3, 2021 7:53:37 am
The shortage comes at a time when India has opened vaccination for all adults from May 1.

As India fights the second wave of Covid-19 and a crippling shortage of vaccines, Serum Institute of India (SII) chief executive Adar Poonawalla has said the shortage of vaccine would continue through July.

According to a ‘Financial Times’ report, Poonawalla has said that production of vaccines is expected to increase in July from about 60 – 70 million doses a month to about 100million.

The shortage comes at a time when India has opened vaccination for all adults from May 1.

The report quoted Poonawalla saying that the authorities did not expect to confront a second wave back in January when new Covid-19 cases had declined. “Everybody really felt that India had started to turn the tide on the pandemic,” he was quoted as saying.

Defending his firm, Poonawalla told the newspaper that SII had been maligned by politicians and critics over the vaccine shortages.

“I’ve been victimised very unfairly and wrongly,” he told the newspaper, adding that he had not boosted capacity earlier because “there were no orders, we did not think we needed to make more than 1billion doses a year”.

Earlier on Saturday night, the Serum CEO posted on Twitter: “Had an excellent meeting with all our partners & stakeholders in the U.K. Meanwhile, pleased to state that COVISHIELD’s production is in full swing in Pune. I look forward to reviewing operations upon my return in a few days.”

SII is producing the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and has supplied 90 per cent of the vaccine doses that have been given to Indian nationals so far.

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