Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla refuted the allegations of exporting Covi vaccines to foreign countries at the expense of Indians.
In a media statement released on Tuesday, Poonawalla claimed that the firm had a bulk stock of vaccine doses in January 2021. He added that during the time, the vaccination drive was initiated successfully and the number of Covid patients in India was comparatively low whilst other countries were going through a severe Covid crisis. It was then the company exported the vaccine to other countries with the approval of the Government of India.
"Today, it is this reciprocity, where India has helped other countries with the supply of HCQ and vaccine exports, that has, in turn, led to support from other countries," the statement said. The institute has now increased vaccine production prioritizing the country with full support in vaccination drive.
Poonawalla added that the vaccination drive within the country cannot be achieved completely in 2-3 months, in view of the huge population which has to be taken into consideration.
Immunizing the whole world population may take over two to three years and the vaccination is the only way to eradicate the pandemic globally.
The Serum Institute of India, third largest Covid vaccine producer globally, has distributed over 200 million doses to US pharma companies, the statement cited Poonawalla.