Increase in COVID-19 vaccine production in India raises export hopes
With boost in COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in India following the setup of new production lines, the nation’s daily vaccinations surpassed 10 million doses on Friday, raising export hopes. India had barred COVID vaccines exports in mid-April following the rise of the brutal second wave of coronavirus infections, which took lakhs of lives. And the Indian government received criticism for exporting vaccines and putting its own population at risk.
According to Reuters, the Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, is now producing about 150 million doses a month of its version of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) shot. A source revealed that the pharmaceutical company is producing twice its April output of about 65million. “No fixed timeline on exports but the company hopes to restart in a few months.” In June, company executives on condition of anonymity, in June 2021, had said Serum Institute may start sending vaccines to other countries and COVAX, possibly by the end of the year. And this depends on the overall domestic supply situation. “Until July-end, the supply situation is expected to remain tight, but beyond that things would ease,” a source had said.
As such, COVAX – the global vaccine sharing platform hopes India will restart foreign sales sooner than later. “With successful national vaccination and the arrival of more products, we are hoping that Indian supply to COVAX will resume as quickly as possible,” a spokesperson told Reuters. “India, a major international producer of many other vaccines, could play a similarly transformative role in the global response to COVID-19.”
The report highlighted that Bharat Biotech, on Sunday, inaugurated a new factory with a production capacity of 10 million doses a month. The pharmaceutical company said it was marching towards a goal of a total annual capacity of about one billion doses of the drug – Covaxin.
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Meanwhile, JP Nadda Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief, said this month India could produce as many as 1.1 billion vaccine doses between September and December, enough to immunize all adults in the country this year. The country has administered more than 633 million vaccine doses, with 52% of its 944 million adults having taken at least one dose and more than 15% taking two doses.
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