After a public spat, SII and Bharat Biotech pledge towards smooth roll out of COVID-19 vaccines

Statement follows a series of cross-statements made by them in the past two days

January 05, 2021 01:44 pm | Updated 07:49 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A scientist works on COVID-19 vaccines at the SII’s laboratory in Pune.

A scientist works on COVID-19 vaccines at the SII’s laboratory in Pune.

Stating the important task in front of them is saving the lives and livelihoods in India and the world, SII CEO Adar Poonawala and Bharat Biotech Chairman Krishna Ella on Tuesday issued a joint statement on behalf of the two companies communicating their combined intent to develop, manufacture and supply the COVID-19 vaccines for India and globally.


The statement that follows a series of cross-statements made by them in the past two days said: “Vaccines are a global public health good and have the power to save lives and accelerate the return to economic normalcy at the earliest.”


They said now that two vaccines have been issued EUA (emergency use authorisation) in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution so that populations that need them the most receive high quality, safe and efficacious ones. “Both our companies are fully engaged in this activity and consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth rollout of vaccines. Each of our companies continue their COVID-19 vaccines development activities as planned,” the statement said.


They said they are fully aware of the importance of the vaccines for people and countries alike. “We hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our COVID-19 vaccines.”


The joint statement follows a tweet by Mr. Poonawala on Tuesday afternoon: “I would like to clarify two matters; as there is confusion in the public domain, exports of vaccines are permitted to all countries and a joint public statement clearing up any recent miscommunication with regards to Bharat Biotech will be made.”


Mr. Ella on Monday evening lashed out at his detractors criticising the fast-track granting of emergency use authorisation to his vaccine Covaxin and statements made by other manufacturers in India against it.


The Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum, a national association of doctors and scientists, on Tuesday said they suspect that clearance granted to the vaccines by the DCGI shows that profit and political gains have taken precedence over science.


In a statement, the group said India was quick to criticise China and Russia for emergency approvals without efficacy data but failed to exercise diligence when its turn arrived.

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