July 26, 2021

AstraZeneca vaccine: the Indian manufacturer still in “talks” with Morocco

Serum Institute of India. ANA

Le Serum Institute of India (SII) attend “Soon” WHO’s emergency use authorization for the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which it produces for middle- and low-income countries, its chief executive told Reuters. “The WHO Emergency Use Permit should be available and arrive within the next week or two, hopefully, as we have submitted everything,” Adar Poonawalla said of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine.

Poonawalla said that SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker, was trying to start supplying the WHO-backed COVAX initiative by the end of January. He sells each dose at $ 3 to low-income countries and at a price “Slightly higher” for the others. Some 189 countries have joined the program, which was established to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. After sending around 20 million doses for the initiative in February, SII will increase that figure to 50 million per month from around April, while simultaneously selling 30 to 40 million doses each month to India, Poonawalla added.

SII has already sold 11 million doses to the Indian government, which is due to launch a mass vaccination campaign this Saturday. Poonawalla said his family business, which was founded by his father Cyrus Poonawalla in 1966, is well positioned to distribute 1 billion doses of vaccine this year, with COVAX having the ability to purchase 450 million each of the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines. .

In addition to Brazil and Bangladesh, which are expected to stock up on SII-pulled AstraZeneca soon, Poonawalla said the Pune-based company has also been ” approached “ by Morocco, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. Quoted by Mint, Poonawalla clarified in this sense that “The company was in talks to sell vaccines to Morocco, South Africa and Saudi Arabia, adding that the priority was India”. He also stated that “The company was currently ramping up in India and would supply other countries by the end of January”.

For his part, the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs himself said: “We will decide on exports… in the coming weeks (…) after having obtained more visibility on our own consumption”.

The Ministry of Health announced on January 6 that it had issued its emergency authorization to the vaccine manufactured under license by the Indian SII from AstraZeneca and that the “order” concerned 25 million doses. No precise date of receipt has been communicated to date …

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