India sitting on 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, SII CEO says

November 18, 2021
India sitting on 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, SII CEO says

Nearly 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines are lying unused in Indian states as people refuse to get vaccinated. “The vaccine industry has worked tirelessly to provide enough stocks for the nation,” said the CEO of top vaccine maker the Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla.

But despite the ample supply, only 41% of India’s 944 million adults have been fully vaccinated as many skip their second dose amid a decrease in infections.

India has reported about 34.5 million infections, the most after the US, and more than 464,000 deaths – a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by SII accounts for nearly 90% of the 1.24 billion doses administered in India. Some 80% of the adults have received at least one dose, while vaccination has not begun for those under age 18.

“I urge all adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccine hesitancy is now the greatest threat in overcoming this pandemic,” Poonawalla said.

The Indian government has launched a door-to-door vaccination campaign to cover all adults with at least the first dose by next month and ensure people also take their second shots.

Meanwhile, SII plans to resume exports to the COVAX international vaccine sharing programme for the first time since April.

Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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