Serum ‘mulling’ overseas production of Covishield

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 01, 2021

Vaccine company chief says he was facing unprecedented aggression over supplies

Faced with shortages and high-pressure demands from governments and corporates, Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla has indicated he was looking to start vaccine production overseas to possibly service existing contract obligations.

An announcement on this is expected shortly, he told The Times in the UK, where he is presently. In fact, Poonawalla further stirred the pot, indicating that he had been at the receiving end of threats. “The level of expectation and aggression is really unprecedented,” Poonawalla is quoted as saying. The Serum chief had only recently been given Y category security.

While Serum Institute has not given details on the overseas production plan, industry-insiders indicated, it was possibly to service existing contracts to GAVI and the UK. Serum was facing a legal notice from AstraZeneca on delayed supplies.

Serum had earlier indicated that it would focus its efforts on India, where the surge of the second wave was taking a huge toll on human life. Vaccine exports had come in for much flak, as a shortage was reported in the country with scaling up of the vaccination programme.

Published on May 01, 2021

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