"Not enough COVID vaccine for everybody till end of 2024" - Serum Institute Chief!
Galatta | Sep 15, 2020, 01:15 pm
With the battle against the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic still ongoing, there are a few vaccine candidates which are in the final stages of testing. The Serum Institute of India (SII) is one of the major players from India, who has tied up with a number of companies developing COVID vaccines and is actively participating in the clinical testing process. However, in what comes as a shocking news, Adar Poonawalla - the Chief Executive of SII, has warned that there would not be enough COVID vaccines for everyone in the world, till the end of 2024! His statement comes right on the back of Union Health Minister & World Health Organisation's Chairman Harsh Vardhan stating that a COVID vaccine would be ready for public use by the beginning of next year!
SII is considered to be the world's largest vaccine manufacturer and the company's CEO estimates that the world would need about 15 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, if it is a two-dose candidate. Adar Poonawalla said, "It’s going to take four to five years until everyone gets the vaccine on this planet." The Pune-based Serum Institute of India has currently partnered with five different international pharma companies including Novavax and AstraZeneca, to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. An earlier statement from SII stated that it is committed to manufacturing 1 billion doses of a COVID vaccine, of which it has guaranteed to supply half for usage in India.
Explaining further about SII's commitment of producing 1 billion vaccine doses, Mr. Poonawalla said that this commitment far exceeded the capacity of any other vaccine producer. In a video call with a media, he is said to have mentioned, "I know the world wants to be optimistic on it... [but] I have not heard of anyone coming even close to that right now." SII's deal with Novavax will allow it to produce vaccines for about 92 countries and its deal with AstraZeneca will allow it to produce vaccines for about 68 countries at a cost of $3 per dose. There are also speculations that SII might partner with the Gamaleya Research Institute of Russia to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine. Just last week, the trials of the vaccine candidate jointly developed by the Oxford Institute & AstraZeneca were paused after one of their volunteers developed neurological illnesses. However, after clearance from the authorities, the trials have resumed in the UK but word on their resumption in India is yet to be announced. Stay tuned for updates...