Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday said exports of its vaccine, Covishield, which became one of the first Covid-19 vaccines in India to get restricted emergency-use approval, are permitted to all countries.
Earlier it was reported that Pune’s SII got the approval on the condition that it will not export its shots as of now.
The Associated Press reported that Poonawalla said his company has been barred from selling vaccines on the private market.
Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine maker by the number of doses produced in a year. As it tied up with Astrazeneca and Oxford University to conduct trials in India and to produce the vaccines in India, several south Asian countries have shown interest in Covaxin. In November, an MoU was signed between the Bangladesh health ministry, Serum Institute and Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals according to which SII would provide three crore doses to Bangladesh.
Demand for SII’s vaccine being manufactured in India is not only limited to the neighbouring countries, as the vaccine is likely to be cheaper than its global competitors. Global vaccine alliance Gavi has collaborated with Serum Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver up to an additional 100 million doses of vaccines, once proved effective, to low- and middle-income countries, as part of the Gavi-COVAX Advance Market Commitment.
Hence, the approval of the vaccine for restricted emergency use is good news for the international market as well but reports that India has barred SII to export its vaccines led to confusion.
SII is also part of another vaccine project — CoV2373 — in collaboration with Novavax.
Source: Hindustan Times
BDST: 2050 HRS, JAN 05, 2021