Amid rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in India and growing demand for vaccines, Serum Institute of India (SII) chief executive Adar Poonawalla has said the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine would remain till July.
According to a Financial Times report, the SII CEO said that production of vaccines would increase in July from about 60-70 million doses a month to about 100 million.
It is to be noted that the shortage of vaccines is not a good news for India as it has has opened vaccination for everyone above 18 years from May 1.
The Financial Report also quoted Poonawalla as saying that Indian authorities did not expect that a second COVID-19 wave would hit the country so hard specially after the decline in coronavirus cases in January. “Everybody really felt that India had started to turn the tide on the pandemic,” he was quoted as saying.
Poonawalla also defended SII saying that the firm had been criticised by politicians and critics over the vaccine shortages.
“I’ve been victimised very unfairly and wrongly,” he told the newspaper, adding that he had not boosted capacity earlier because “there were no orders, we did not think we needed to make more than 1billion doses a year”.
Earlier on Saturday, Adar Pooonawalla posted on Twitter: “Had an excellent meeting with all our partners & stakeholders in the U.K. Meanwhile, pleased to state that COVISHIELD’s production is in full swing in Pune. I look forward to reviewing operations upon my return in a few days.”
SII is producing ‘Covishield’, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.