Adar Poonawalla, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Did not export vaccines at the cost of Indians: Adar PoonawallaSerum Institute of India on Tuesday said that the company did not export Covid-19 vaccines at the cost of Indian citizens and in January when the company had stockpiled vaccines, health experts believed that the tide was turning in India as the daily cases recorded in India was one of the lowest.

The statement from SII comes at a time when the Modi government is facing criticism by opposition parties on why did it allow SII to export vaccines when the country needed them.

SII has delivered more than 200mn doses in India, Poonawalla said this was despite the company receiving emergency approval just two months after the US companies got their approval, and going by the total doses produced and delivered, the company ranks top three in the world. He added that the company will scale up manufacturing and prioritise India. And will start delivering to COVAX and other countries by end of this year.

“Another important factor that people do not tend to realize is that we are amongst the two most populous countries in the world, a vaccination drive for such a large population cannot be completed within 2-3 months, as there are several factors and challenges involved”, Poonawalla said.

The government of India has indicated that it could receive 750 million doses from SII after August-September. Besides the Astrazeneca vaccine, SII is also developing the vaccine for US drug maker Novavax.