100 million Covid vaccine shots destroyed in India

November 7, 2022

100 million Covid vaccine shots destroyed in IndiThe Serum Institute of India (SII) has decided to dump 100 million doses of their now-expired COVID-19 vaccine. SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker, stopped producing the locally-administered Covishield vaccine in December last year due to low demand.

“… people now seem fed up with Covid. Honestly, I’m also fed up. We all are,” said the CEO of SII, Adar Poonawalla.

India has administered over two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with Covishield accounting for over 90% of the doses given – more than 70% of the Indian population has taken at least two doses, according to the federal health ministry.

In January 2022, India began giving boosters to healthcare and frontline workers, and those above 60 years with comorbidities; it was later expanded to all adults. In July, free booster doses were provided to all adults for 75 days to mark 75 years of India’s independence.

But so far, India has administered just 298 million booster doses or precaution doses, revealed the health ministry.

In the meantime, the SII had completed trials for the Covid vaccine Covovax as a booster dose. The company expects the vaccine to get approval within the next two weeks. It has also partnered with the US biotech company Novavax for an Omicron-specific booster.

Speaking on the sidelines during the annual general meeting of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) in the western Indian city of Pune, Poonawalla suggested the Covid vaccine be administered with a routine influenza (flu) shot.

“Going forward, when people take a flu shot every year, they may take a Covid vaccine along with it. But in India, there is no culture of taking a flu shot every year, like in the West.”

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