There will be a lack of vaccine till July, Poonawala said - did not think that so much dose will have to be made in a year
Business Desk: States are facing a shortage of vaccines amidst the growing Kovid crisis in the country. In many parts of the country, due to lack of vaccine, either the centers are closed or the new phase has not been started. At the same time, Adar Poonawala, CEO of Serum Institute of India, says that the lack of vaccine can last till July.
The second wave was not expected to come in January. In
an interview to an English newspaper, Poonawala said that vaccine production is expected to increase in July. Poonawala says that the production is likely to be around 10 crore doses in a month instead of 6-7 crore doses. He said, "There was no order. We didn't think we needed to make more than 100 crore doses in a year." He also said that officials did not expect a second wave in January. He continued, "Everyone really felt that the epidemic in India was on the verge of ending."
Last month, the central government gave Rs 3,000 crore advance to the Serum Institute to facilitate capacity expansion. New cases crossed 400,000 for the first time in India on Friday. Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine-making company, makes the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is locally distributed under the brand name Covishield. The central government has bought its entire production so far but earlier this month states and private hospitals have also been allowed to purchase the vaccine.
Vaccine Policy The government created by the
government has started a vaccination campaign for all people above 18 years of age from 1 May. However, due to the lack of vaccines, it may not be effectively introduced at the moment. On May 1, only 18 lakh people were vaccinated. Let me tell you that about 16 crore people have been vaccinated in India so far. It is just 12 percent of the country's population. However, the number of people taking the second dose is quite small. It is just two percent.
Poonawala said that politicians and critics blamed SII for the lack of vaccines, but the vaccine policy was made by the government.
Let us tell you that the vaccination campaign started in India on 16 January. The central government initially ordered 2.1 crore vaccines from SII. In March, when the cases started escalating, an additional 11 crore doses were ordered. The company has also been criticized for charging higher prices from states and private hospitals for an expanded vaccination campaign. The serum later reduced the price paid by the state governments from Rs 400 to Rs 300.