New Delhi: Adar Poonawalla — whose firm makes India’s most used COVID vaccine — on Monday ruled out the possibility of ramping up production overnight, saying vaccine making is a specialised process.
The CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) also said the population of India is huge and to produce enough doses for all adults is not an easy task.
Poonawalla, who is in London, however, noted that the company is making every effort to enhance production of Covishield amid the second wave of COVID in the country.
He added that 11 crore vaccines would be supplied to the government over the next few months.
“I would like to clarify certain things since my comments may have been misinterpreted. First of all, vaccine manufacturing is a specialised process, it is therefore not possible to ramp up production overnight. We also need to understand that the population of India is huge and to produce enough doses for all adults is not an easy task,” Poonawalla said in a statement on Twitter.
Even the most advanced countries and companies are struggling with relatively smaller populations, Poonawalla said.
He noted that the Pune-based company has been working closely with the government since April last year. “We have got all kinds of support, be it scientific, regulatory and financial. As of today, we received total orders of over 26 crore doses, of which we supplied more than 15 crore doses. We have also got 100 per cent advance of Rs 1,732.5 crore by the GOI for the next tranche of 11 crore doses in the next few months,” Poonawalla said.
Another 11 crore doses would be supplied in the second channel for states and private hospitals in the next few months, he added.
“Lastly, we understand that everyone wants the vaccine to be available in the quickest possible time. That is our endeavour too and we are making every effort to achieve that. We shall work even harder and strengthen India’s fight against COVID-19,” Poonawalla said.