Serum Institute resumes vaccine exporttext_fields
India has resumed exporting low-cost Covishield vaccines to middle and lower-income countries around the world via the COVAX programme announced Serum Institute of India (SII) chief Adar Poonawalla on Saturday. In his statement, Poonawalla said that the SII was delighted to be working with the vaccine-sharing programme and reminded the world that many countries have traditionally been dependent on the low-cost vaccines India manufactures.
Exports have resumed just as Covishield manufacturing crossed 1.25 billion doses, the statement by the SII revealed.
"I want to thank our workforce for their superhuman efforts in achieving this major milestone, with 1 billion doses of Covishield now produced by SII. We started to invest at risk in COVID-19 vaccine production back in March 2020 and Serum Institute colleagues have worked tirelessly ever since to get thes life-saving doses to people. It's a huge moment to begin exports again, for us, our partners at Covax and the low- and middle-income countries we support," Poonawalla said, as quoted by NDTV.
The Serum Institute is also looking to expand manufacturing by bringing US-made Covovax under its ambit, even though the vaccine is still awaiting regulatory reviews in India and by the World Health Organisation.
The Sll chief executive also thanked the Indian company's global partners including AstraZeneca, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, UNICEF and the WHO "for their unwavering patience and confidence in our ability to keep on track."
Dr.Seth Berkeley who heads the Gavi institute at the helm of the COVAX programme also hailed the resumption of Covishield exports as an important step in getting vaccines to some of the most vulnerable parts of the world. Even as the COVAX programme now has a larger list of vaccines than it did earlier, Covishield exports were a welcome addition as vaccines were needed for countries opening up after the pandemic, creating increased demand he said.