India bars virus vaccine from exporting
Published: 11:28 AM, 4 January 2021
India has decided to ban the export of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute in India, which has been contracted to make 1 billion doses of the vaccine for developing nations, as a result, it may take months to reach the vaccines among the general people in poor countries.
In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Seram Institute, said on Sunday that India’s regulatory body gave urgent approval to their vaccine. However, the condition is that the “Serum Institute vaccine cannot be exported” to ensure the safety of the general people in India.
“We can only provide vaccines to the Indian government at the moment. It has also been instructed not to stockpile vaccines,” Poonawalla said, adding that Serum has also been asked to “refrain from selling” vaccines in India’s inland market.
The company also agreed to give the Oxford vaccine manufactured in India to Bangladesh, as a result, Bangladesh was very close to get the Covid-19 vaccines. The Serum also planned to give 200 million to 300 million doses of the COVAX vaccine to Bangladesh by December 2021.
Bangladesh entered into an agreement on 5 November with Serum Institute and Beximco Pharmaceuticals to receive 30 million doses of the Oxford-invented Covishield vaccine.
Even Serum had planned to vaccinate 5 million doses per month in the first phase of six months through Beximco.
On Sunday, India’s Drug Controller General (DCGI) announced emergency approval. With this, the door to vaccination against coronavirus in India, the second most affected country, was opened.
The Serum Institute said in a meeting that it wants to focus on manufacturing the amount of vaccines that India urgently needs two months before giving them to other countries that are interested in buying the vaccine from them.