Coronavirus | Centre’s move to stop vaccine exports might affect United Kingdom

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

With India, and particularly Maharashtra, witnessing a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases, the United Kingdom’s vaccination programme could hit a roadblock as the Indian government is temporarily staying exports to address the increased domestic vaccination demands.

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India (SII) which is manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that the situation was solely dependent on the Indian government and had nothing to do with the SII.

“It is solely dependent on India and it has nothing to do with the SII. It is to do with the Indian government allowing more doses to the U.K.,” Mr. Poonawalla told The Telegraph.

According to the paper, Mr. Poonawalla confirmed that five million doses of the Oxford vaccine had already been delivered to the U.K. early this month.

The Telegraph quoted a source stating that the second batch of five million doses that the SII is due to give the U.K. will only be delivered once it was green-lighted by the Indian government, which is deliberating on how to combat the renascence of the pandemic.

Of India’s 2.35 lakh-odd active cases, Maharashtra contributes to more than 60% with the State reporting an average daily spike of more than 15,000 cases for the past one week to take its active case tally beyond 1.50 lakh cases.

Eight of the 10 most-affected districts, including Pune and Nagpur, are from Maharashtra.

Remarking that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government’s emphasis was on ramping up its vaccination drive, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said he had written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan that the State needed 2.20 crore doses from the Centre for the drive.

This translates to a requirement of 20 lakh doses per week.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 4:43:27 PM |

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