After the Centre rubbished media reports saying that it had not placed fresh orders for COVID-19 vaccines, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla also clarified they have received an advance of Rs 1732.50 crore from the Union government for the next tranche of 11 crore doses of Covishield.
Poonawalla said that since manufacturing vaccine is a specialized process, it’s not possible to “ramp up production overnight.”
Despite a huge demand for vaccines in India, Poonawalla said the company is making every effort to make the vaccine available for all in the quickest possible time.
“India is a huge country and to produce enough doses for all adults is not an easy task. Even the most advanced countries and companies are struggling in relatively smaller populations,” the Serum Institute CEO said in a statement.
Poonawalla added that SII is working closely with the Centre. “We have got all kinds of support, be it scientific, regulatory and financial,” he said.
He informed that till date, SII has received order of over 26 crore doses, of which over 15 crore have been supplied. “We have also got 100% advance of Rs 1732.50 crore from GOI for the next tranche of 11 crore doses in the next few months,” he said.
A further 11 crore doses will be supplied in the “second channel” for states and private hospitals in the next few months.
Poonawalla will get ‘Y’ category security from government of India following getting threats from various groups regarding vaccine supplies.