Serum Institute of India’s (SII) chief executive Adar Poonawalla said that the severe vaccine shortage in India is likely to be continued till July. SII is currently producing 60 to 70 million doses of Oxford’s AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine under the name of Covishield. He said that SII will need time till July to manufacture 100 million doses.
Poonawalla said that a 100 million doses might
fall short too as the total requirement has increased since India started it
next phase of vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 years, which is 2
more months of people lining up outside vaccination centers.
SII received an order of 21 million vaccines in February without any indication of a larger order coming up. In March, the Government of India placed an order for 110 million doses as the cases started to rise in the second wave. According to Poonawalla, he is the one getting death threats from politicians and the common man alike.
Poonawalla claims he chose to stay back in London for a few extra days because the situation back at home was getting worse. “Just because you can’t supply the needs of X, Y or Z, you really want to guess what they are going to do,” he said in an interview with Times of London.