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Serum Institute resumes Covishield export under COVAX as output crosses 1 billion-mark

SII said its supplies under COVAX facility would increase substantially into the first quarter of 2022, adding that it "will bring into production other vaccines under licence", which include Covovax, from US-based company Novavax.

November 26, 2021 / 06:36 PM IST
A vial of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is produced in India and marketed as Covishield (Image: Reuters)

A vial of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is produced in India and marketed as Covishield (Image: Reuters)

Serum Institute of India (SII), the manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, on November 26 resumed its export to low and middle-income countries under the COVAX framework.

The resumption of Covishield exports is linked to SII surpassing its original target to produce one billion doses of the vaccine by the end of this year, the Pune-based vaccine maker said in an official release.

"It's a huge moment to begin exports again, for us, our partners at COVAX and the low- and middle-income countries we support. The world has largely depended on the low-cost, high-quality pharmaceuticals and vaccines that India has traditionally exported," SII chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla said.

Exports under COVAX -- the global vaccine-sharing programme co-headed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) -- was suspended by SII in March this year as India was hit by a fierce second wave of the pandemic. The vaccine stock was being priotirised to inoculate the country's population.

In September, however, the Centre allowed the resumption of vaccine exports. The decision came amid a decline in the country's active caseload, the dwindling rate of infection and significant coverage of the eligible population under the country's vaccination programme.

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According to SII, its supplies under COVAX facility would increase substantially into the first quarter of 2022.

To boost its COVID-19 vaccine output, the company said it "will bring into production other vaccines under licence, which include Covovax, from US-based company Novavax".
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first published: Nov 26, 2021 06:00 pm
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