New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII), which is world’s largest vaccine maker, on Monday said that it is expecting the Centre to approve the shot for emergency use in a few days. Issuing a statement, the SII added that it has 40-50 million doses of Covishield stockpiled and once it gets regulatory approvals in a few days, it’ll be producing around 300 million doses by July 2021. Also Read - 2 TMC MLAs Jump Queue, Take COVID Vaccine Out of Turn in West Bengal
“We have 40-50 million doses of Covishield stockpiled. Once we get regulatory approvals in a few days, it’ll be down to the government to decide how much they can take and how fast. We will be producing around 300 million doses by July 2021,” Adar Poonawalla, Serum Institute of India, said. Also Read - World's Largest Vaccination Drive Against COVID-19 Kicks Off in India | A Look at The Numbers
Serum Institute, which is also manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in India, said that the first six months of 2021 will see a shortage globally. “Nobody can help that. But we will see easing off by August-September 2021 as other vaccine manufactures also being able to supply,” Poonawalla added. Also Read - Mild Infection Good Sign, Shows Immune System Responding To Vaccine: AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria
Saying that India is a part of ‘COVAX’, he further stated that the SII will keep giving 50% of everything to India & to COVAX at the same time. “India has such a large population that we will probably end up giving the majority of those 50 million doses to India first,” Poonawalla stated.
The development comes at a time when the Central government on Friday said that it has planned a dry run for administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab next week as a step to prep up before the actual thing takes off.
According to the Health Ministry, each state will plan the dry run in two districts and preferably in different session type settings, for example, district hospital, urban site, private health facility, rural outreach etc.
“This exercise will enable end-to-end mobilisation and testing of COVID-19 vaccination process and check the usage of Co-WIN in field environment,” the ministry said in a statement.
It would also enable linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms and identify challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation, including improvements that may be required in the envisaged process.