The chief executive of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has warned that the shortage of jabs will last for months after Narendra Modi’s government failed to prepare for a devastating second coronavirus wave.
Ginger Punawala told the Financial Times that India’s severe vaccine deficit will continue through July, when production is expected to increase from a m-0-m dose to 100 m a month.
Punawala said the government made it easier in January when the number of new coronavirus cases dropped. “Everyone really felt that the epidemic had started in India,” he said.
But India was stunned by the latest wave of infections on Sunday, with 400,000 new cases recorded on Sunday and several cities and states, including the capital New Delhi, locked up.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of complaining about the health crisis and prioritizing domestic politics after a Hindu religious festival called the Prime Minister’s Election Rally and Kumbh Mela, which attracted millions of people despite the rapid rise in infections.
India has vaccinated less than 2 percent of its population, with many states reporting disintegration, forcing everyone 18 years of age or older to back off on Saturday to expand the scope of insulation.
Punawala said that politicians and critics have ruined the Serum Institute over the vaccine shortage, noting that the government, not the agency, is responsible for the policy. The agency has been criticized by the state government and hospitals for charging more than the proposal made to the central government. Punawala Prices have dropped Criticism follows.
“I have suffered very unfairly and unjustly,” he said, adding that he had not been able to increase capacity before because “there was no order, we don’t think we need to dose more than 1 BN a year.”
New Delhi has ordered 21 million vaccines from the Serim Institute, which is developing the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and will supply the country in large doses by the end of February, but gave no indication of when it will buy more. An additional 110 million doses were ordered in March when infections began to rise sharply.
The government last month gave the company a boost to help transform it into a production line for another vaccine.
“We’ve done it right now to address the ridiculous deficit that exists between the nation and obviously the world, even the oceans.”
The government in April Introduces a push to secure more jabs From foreign suppliers. It has given urgent approval to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and said it would also apply to those approved in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe or Japan.
However, local manufacturers who have partnered with Sputnik V say they are a few months away from distributing it locally.
Experts say that before the epidemic, the government should have collected enough vaccines to increase production capacity and investment.
New Delhi-based public health expert Chandrakant Laharia said, “It is absolutely essential that you have something to deliver, he added, adding that the government has not been transparent about its vaccine policy.
“Of course there isn’t much information in the public domain,” he said.
Punawala spoke to the Financial Times from London, where he joined his wife and children shortly before the UK imposed a ban on flights from India. He told the Times of London that he had left the country because of unspecified “threats” from unnamed senior politicians and business figures demanding access to the vaccines. The Indian government last week provided extra security to Punawala.
Punawala Wrote on Twitter He will return to India the next day.
The foreign government has sued the Serum Institute for failing to conclude a trade deal after India Export of frozen vaccines In March.
Punawala said the agency had ordered in advance but could not identify the countries, starting to “return” them to the government. “But I think if we don’t see any big changes in two, three months, I think we’ll have some problems.”