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SII To Reduce Covishield Production To Half Over Ambiguity About Vaccine Requirement

COVID-19 vaccine

Serum Institute of India( SII) may reduce its vaccine production to fifty percent at a time when a new variant of SARA-CoV-2 Omicron is setting its foot in the nation, reports quoting CEO Adar Poonawalla.

In an interview, Poonawalla said the government has not placed enough orders for Covishield. “I am actually in a dilemma that I never imagined… we are producing 250 million doses a month but the good news is that India has covered up a large part of its population and we would have completed all our orders to the ministry of health in a week’s time,” Poonawalla said, as quoted by news agency PTI. 

The Adar Poonawalla-led company has previously written to the government, requesting clarification on its future vaccination requirements, including both dosages and booster doses, if the government intends any in the future.

Serum Institute aims to limit output on a monthly basis until orders come up again, either in India or throughout the world, because there are currently no other orders with the firm, according to Poonawalla.

“Over the eight months when we could not export, other countries managed vaccine supplies from donations from the US and elsewhere and we have lost a lot of market share,” he said. 

“If they need more vaccines for the booster doses, we have already written to them (central government). Now it is their decision on the booster policy whether they will procure more and stockpile before the next surge happens if at all it comes. We are awaiting their directions,” Poonawalla added.

“We must keep in mind that we don’t need a situation like last year where suddenly the country needs hundreds of millions of doses, that won’t be possible if we dial down our production. So that is why we have explained this to the government and experts to please let us know now. If you need more doses for boosters we have in stock, we can produce more. Just give us that guidance. That discussion is on at the moment.”

Serum Institute currently has 500 million doses in stock.

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