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Covid-19: Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech jointly pledge to provide global access to the vaccine

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 05, 2021 Published on January 05, 2021

After the high-octane criticism of each other’s vaccines, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech appear to have sunk their differences and pledged to provide Covid-19 vaccines globally.

In a joint statement, Serum Institute Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla and Bharat Biotech founder Dr Krishna Ella conveyed their combined intent to develop manufacture and supply Covid-19 vaccines for India and overseas.

 

The more important task is to save lives and livelihoods, they said, adding, “Vaccines are a global public health good, and they have the power to save lives and accelerate the return to economic normalcy at the earliest.”

Vaccine politics

After India gave its go-ahead to Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccines for restricted emergency use on Sunday, concerns were raised by public health voices and politicians on the approvals process. As safety and efficacy concerns were expressed, given the fast-tracked process, the situation was further vitiated as vaccine politics came into play. But the two vaccine chiefs also took public pot-shots at each other, with Bharat Biotech responding in strong words to a criticism of his company’s vaccine including the Serum chief’s statement that other vaccines had “safety like water”.

 

On Tuesday, though, the two chiefs projected a more united front, saying, “Now that two Covid-19 vaccines have been issued EUA (emergency use authorization) in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution, such that populations that need it the most receive high quality, safe and efficacious vaccines. Both our companies are fully engaged in this activity and consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth rollout of vaccines.”

Further, they said, “We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our Covid-19 vaccines.”

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Published on January 05, 2021
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