The largest order of serum vaccines in India covered only 4% of people Business and Economy News


The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not placed an order of more than 110 million doses from the largest local manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Bloomberg News sources, enough for only 4% of India’s population .

The federal government led by Narendra Modi has not placed an order of more than 110 million doses of the largest local manufacturer since sales began in December, according to a person familiar with the matter, enough for only 4% of its population , with 1.4 billion people. .

The lack of a larger central stock, along with a devastating second wave in the country (on Saturday, more than 400,000 cases increased daily), causes local state governments to fight and compete with each other to place orders with manufacturers. after the federal government bounced off responsibility for acquiring vaccines from them last month.

Serum Institute of India Ltd., the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and the country’s leading supplier of Covid-19 shots, is running to keep up with state orders, but its production facilities only they can produce 60 to 70 million doses a month and can increase to 100 million by July, said the person who refused to identify himself as the information is private.

India, with the fastest growing coronavirus outbreak in the world, is seeing its health system collapse as it doesn’t get everything from hospital beds to oxygen cylinders. Although the nation is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, local supply has dried up amid expanding access for all over the age of 18, leading to a game of cattle between manufacturers and government officials.

Threatening threats

Tensions have risen to the point that flamboyant Serum chairman Adar Poonawalla fled to London in part to escape the threatened threats of people desperate for vaccines, he said in an interview with The British Times over the weekend. .

The country is likely to face a shortage of vaccines against Covid-19 by July, Poonawalla told the Financial Times in an interview on Sunday as serum capacity increases.

“Everyone felt that India had started to change the pandemic,” Poonawalla told the UK news daily. “There were no orders. We didn’t think we had to do more than 1 billion doses a year.”

A Serum spokesman declined to comment on his Covid vaccine order book.

The transfer of responsibility to state governments for urgent medical supplies is similar to what the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump did last year when the world’s largest economy faced a explosive outbreak: states were forced to bid against each other for crucial equipment such as fans and masks.

Prolong misery

The slowness in acquiring vaccines runs the risk of prolonging misery in the second most affected nation in the world which sees its Covid-related death toll rise to unprecedented levels, overwhelming hospitals and crematoria alike. Vaccines can prevent serious infections that cause hospitalization and death, thus relieving pressure on the health care system.

The opening of the vaccination program for all over-18s (with no existing stocks) has exacerbated the shortage, as many state governments stopped inoculating themselves by alleging a shortage of vaccines. Online registrations opened late last month just so the servers could fail, as tens of thousands of Indians tried to get a place.

Serum is licensed to manufacture Covid features from AstraZeneca Plc. and Novavax Inc. Of the two, the Indian government has only approved AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine for use. The Covaxin of Bharat Biotech International Ltd. it is also approved in India as well as the Russian Sputnik V.

The Serum Institute was “criticized by politicians and critics for the shortage of vaccines,” Poonawalla said in the FT report, which noted that the government, not the company, was responsible for the policy.

–With the assistance of Devidutta Tripathy.

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