India’s growing Covid-19 vaccine production and the vaccination of more than half of its adult population with at least one dose are fueling expectations that the country could resume exporting within months, starting early next year. After giving or selling 66 million pills to almost 100 countries, India halted exports in mid-April to focus on local immunization as illnesses surged, causing several African and South Asian nations’ vaccination plans to be disrupted.
On Friday, India’s daily immunizations topped 10 million, with national vaccine output more than tripling since April and expected to climb further in the coming weeks. New production lines have been installed, a vaccine created by Cadila Healthcare received FDA approval recently, and commercial production of Russia’s Sputnik V has begun in India.
According to a person familiar with the situation, the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is currently manufacturing approximately 150 million doses of their version of the AstraZeneca injection every month, more than double its April output of about 65 million.
“No fixed timeline on exports but the company hopes to restart in a few months,” said the source, who declined to be named without approval to talk on the matter. SII, which has previously indicated exports could resume by year-end, did not respond to a request for comment.
COVAX, a global vaccine sharing platform, is hopeful that India will resume overseas sales shortly. “We are hopeful that Indian supplies to COVAX will start as soon as feasible,” a spokesman for the platform’s co-lead GAVI told Reuters in an email.
According to the spokesman, India, a significant worldwide manufacturer of several other vaccines, may play a “similarly transformational role in the global reaction to Covid-19.” A request for a response was sent to India’s health ministry and the foreign ministry, which handles vaccine shipments.
Bharat Biotech, the company behind India’s first locally manufactured Covid-19 injection, opened a new plant on Sunday with a monthly manufacturing capacity of 10 million doses. It claimed it was “marching toward” a target of producing roughly 1 billion doses of the medication Covaxin each year.
Meanwhile, following an explosive epidemic in April and May, infections are once again on the rise in India. However, more than 633 million vaccine doses have been provided, with at least one dose given to 52% of the country’s 944 million people and two doses given to more than 15%.In June, a government source told Reuters that in the United States, immunizations tend to slow down once the vast majority of individuals have had their injections. According to the source, this might allow SII to export surplus production. According to the leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, India may manufacture up to 1.1 billion vaccine doses between September and December, enough to fully immunize all adults in the nation this year.
So far, India has granted emergency permission for six Covid-19 injections, four of which are manufactured in the country. Another domestic vaccine is likely to be authorized shortly, and many more are in mid-stage testing.
(Source – Business Today)