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As demand for India’s Covid-19 vaccines rise, export of general vaccines slides

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on February 24, 2021

Exports dropped to $648 million in April-January against $695 m previously

Even as overseas demand for Covid-19 vaccines from India has been picking up, the export of other vaccines in general has declined.

As per data of Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council’s (Pharmexcil) data, there was a dip in vaccine exports in the current financial year up to January, 2021.

Compared with $695 million of vaccine exports during April-January in the last financial year, it decreased to $648 million in the same period this financial year.

“At the same time, over all pharma exports are showing double-digit growth. We expect vaccine exports to pick up soon as Covid-19 threat fades away,” R Uday Bhaskar, Director General, Pharmexcil told Business Line.

Covid vaccines

The demand for India-made Covid-19 vaccines, however, has been steadily increasing, Bhaskar said.

As per official data, over 25 countries had already received Indian vaccines and about 60 had already expressed interest and are in the ‘waiting list’.

India’s mass vaccination programme is currently on with two vaccines, Covishield of Serum Institute and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech which have attracted global attention.

According to Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech,the company is in the process of filing regulatory documentation in more than 40 countries.

According to a senior executive of the Hyderabad based vaccine-manufacturer, the general dip in the vaccine exports is a `one-time’ phenomena mainly due to `special’ circumstances created by Covid-19 pandemic for the last one year.

“There are gaps and discontinuities in general immunisation programmes in many parts of the world in the last one year on account of Covid and general restrictions. There has been drop in procurement from some NGOs too,” he said.

Many experts at Asia’s biotech platform, which concluded here on Tuesday, stressed the need to continue general immunisation programmes along with measures to tackle Covid-19 to ensure the well being of people across the world.

Published on February 24, 2021

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