Business News: Serum Institute wants to produce vaccines outside India.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is planning to start vaccine production outside India as it struggles to meet supply commitments. The pharmaceutical giant, which makes the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, will make a formal announcement in the coming days.
SII chief executive Adar Poonawalla told the Times Friday that “there will be an announcement in the next few days.” Poonawalla said last week that the Serum Institute would be able to increase its monthly vaccine production to 100 million doses by July this year, which is later than a previous timeline in late May. Many states in India have run out of COVID-19 vaccines.
He hoped to increase the Serum Institute’s production capacity from 2.5 billion to 3 billion doses per year within six months, the Times reported, adding that it flew to London before Britain banned travelers. from India eight days ago.
Coronavirus cases and deaths rose in India as the world’s second most populous country reported over 300,000 new infections a day for nine consecutive days, hitting another global record of 386,452 on Friday.
The surge led to a public health crisis and forced the government to search for oxygen, medicines and other essentials from abroad. The nation’s coronavirus cases could peak between May 3-5, according to scientists advising the government.
Some health experts said India became complacent when new cases were around 10,000 per day and the novel coronavirus appeared to be under control. The authorities lifted the restrictions, allowing the resumption of large parties and political demonstrations.