• Monday, September 26, 2022

INDIA

Indian vaccine maker Serum Institute appeals to Biden to lift embargo on raw material exports

FILE PHOTO: Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India. (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas)

By: Sattwik Biswal

THE Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest vaccine maker, on Friday (16) urged the US president Joe Biden to lift an embargo on US exports of raw materials that is hurting its production of Covid-19 shots.

“Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up,” SII Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said in a tweet.

SII is making the AstraZeneca jab for the world and will soon start producing the Novavax vaccine.

India has reported the most number of Covid-19 cases in the world this month. – total of 14.3 million infections since the pandemic began is the most after the United States. The country has also recorded 174,308 deaths.

Many vaccination centres in India are now rationing supplies though they are only inoculating people above 45 years, having started the campaign in mid-January with front-line workers.

India has administered the most doses in the world after the United States and China, but it ranks much lower per capita.

The government said on Friday (16) the country had a stock of about 26.7 million doses of vaccines.

India this week gave emergency authorisation to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and imports to cover as many as 125 million people will start this month.

The government has also urged Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson to sell their shots to India.

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