InvestorQ : Is it true that Serum Institute is stopping the export of the Covishield vaccine?
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Is it true that Serum Institute is stopping the export of the Covishield vaccine?

1 year ago

There have been murmurs for quite some time that India was exporting vaccines to other countries even as local cases were on the rise. Now there is confirmation from the sources in the government and also from Serum Institute of India. India has finally decided to put a temporary hold on all exports of Covishield, and perhaps it is right in doing so. India needs to fill up its domestic vaccine needs first even as the drive has been going too slow.

It may be recollected that the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine is manufactured by Serum Institute of India based on an IP based technique that was jointly invented by AstraZeneca PLC and the Oxford Research Institute. The idea behind this decision is to meet the rising tide of infections domestically as the cases have sharply escalated in the last few weeks. In fact, the commercial capital of Maharashtra has been bearing the brunt of COVID cases.

However, it must be remembered that this decision will hinder supplies to the World Health Organization or WHO program, which is expected to substantially benefit over 180 countries. Many of these nations under the WHO program are extreme backward nations and need international support. However, that is not to take away from the fact that India has already contributed more than its share to the global pool of vaccines.

Let us look at some numbers. Till date, Serum Institute has already shipped 61 million doses of which 18 million doses have gone to the WHO COVAX program. However, sources in trade circles have confirmed that the vaccine exports have been frozen since the previous Thursday as India expands its own immunization efforts. Exports are likely to remain on hold till our own pandemic situation stabilizes.