The executive director of the Indian Serum Institute said on Thursday that India will likely take at least three to four months to complete the COVID-19 vaccination efforts for frontline workers and people over the age of 60, or with underlying health conditions.
In January, the South Asian country launched the world’s largest vaccination campaign for about 300 million people out of a population of 1.3 billion. As of Wednesday evening, more than 36 million people have been vaccinated according to data from India’s Ministry of Health.
“The number of doses required in India is huge,” Suresh Jadhav told CNBC.Capital connectionHe added that the vaccination program is a huge task that cannot be completed in a hurry and in a short period of time.
“At a speed ranging between 50 and 60 million doses per month, this program will continue and will cover 300 million within another three to four months,” he said.
This week Jadhav participated in the Asian Development Bank Southeast Asia Development Symposium 2021.
Pune serum institute, based in India It has emerged as a critical player in the COVID-19 vaccination effort Either in India or around the world. It is the world’s largest vaccine maker by volume and manufactures the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant. AstraZeneca And the University of Oxford, known locally as Coffeeshield.
The Indian government has provided millions of doses in addition to Covax, a global vaccination initiative led by the World Health Organization and others to ensure equitable distribution of injections in less affluent countries.
Exterior view of the Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. that manufactures the Covid-19 vaccine in Hadapsar, on November 23, 2020 in Pune, India.
Pratam Gokhale | Hindustan Times Getty Images
In response to the growing demand for a Covid vaccine, the Serum Institute Adar Poonawala CEO last month asked foreign governments to show patience He said, without further explanation, that the company had been told to meet domestic demand first.
Jadhav explained that the Serum Institute is capable of meeting the current requests made by the Indian government and said it has already delivered around 59 million doses to Covax. He added that Serum plans to expand its capacity by the end of April or early May, when it aims to increase production by 40 million to another 50 million doses.
At present, serum institute It can produce over 70 million doses Month.
Last week, the United States, Japan and Australia It pledged to help Indian companies expand Covid vaccine production capabilities And provide more doses to the global supply pool.
India is also using a locally developed Bharat Biotech vaccine that has been created in collaboration with the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research.