The Serum Institute of India (SII) has said it will try to supply more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the UK later based on the requirements in India. This comes despite a controversy surrounding supplies of the vaccines.
A company spokesperson said, “Five million doses had been delivered a few weeks ago to the UK and we will try to supply more later, based on the current situation and requirement for the government immunisation programme in India.”
A London-based daily had quoted SII Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla saying exports to the UK would resume once the company had green light (from the Indian government) to do so.
Senior officials in New Delhi confirmed that there was no ban on exports from India, and no plans to do so either.
Agencies had reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that a delay in the supply of Covid vaccine from the SII in India to Britain was due to technical issues and not because of any intervention by India.
SII is prioritising the needs for India as the national immunisation programme here is gaining momentum. The firm has recently got orders to deliver 100 million doses to the Government of India.
A source clarified that the 10 million doses that SII is supplying to the UK is to assist the country in its vaccination drive. Of this, 5 million have already been exported, and the remaining would go later depending on the domestic requirements.
Recently, Poonawalla had said in a tweet: “Dear countries and governments, as you await #COVISHIELD supplies, I humbly request you to please be patient, @SerumInstIndia has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world. We are trying our best.”
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