Top Indian vaccine maker’s production capacity is reportedly ‘burdened’ as Covid-19 cases rise

A beneficiary will get vaccinated by well being workers throughout a pan India Covid-19 vaccination drive at Aundh district hospital, on January 16, 2021 in Pune, India.

Pratham Gokhale | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

India reported greater than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases over a 24-hour interval for the third time this week as South Asia’s most populous nation pushes forward with its vaccination marketing campaign.

There have been 126,789 new cases reported on Thursday, in accordance with authorities knowledge. Over 80% of these cases have been from ten states together with the hard-hit western state of Maharashtra, residence to India’s monetary capital, Mumbai.

Since the beginning of April, India has reported greater than 779,000 cases, with Maharashtra accounting for simply over half of them.

Local authorities in Maharashtra have stepped up restrictions, together with night time curfews the place solely important companies are allowed to stay open. Other states are additionally preemptively growing restrictions as worries mount over a possible scarcity in hospital beds and medical doctors.

Vaccine scarcity

India’s mass inoculation marketing campaign, which started in January, has accelerated in current weeks. Starting in April, anybody over 45 is eligible for his or her photographs. Government knowledge confirmed as of Thursday, greater than 90 million vaccine doses have been administered.

But, media experiences this week stated that a number of states, together with Maharashtra, have warned that they’re operating out of vaccine inventory at a vital juncture the place cases are climbing quickly.

In response, the Indian authorities accused some states, together with Maharashtra, of diverting consideration away from their failure to manage the virus outbreak.

“Vaccine supplies are being monitored on a real-time basis, and State governments are being apprised regularly about it,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated in a press release Wednesday. “Allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless.”

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Serum Institute’s ‘burdened’ production capacity

But the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing one of many nation’s two permitted vaccines — AstraZeneca’s shot, identified domestically as Covishield — has a unique view of issues.

Serum Institute boss Adar Poonawalla instructed Indian media that the corporate’s production capacity is “very stressed.” He stated the vaccine producer wants about $400 million to ramp up capacity by June.

He revealed to the Business Standard that AstraZeneca despatched Serum Institute a authorized discover for delays in supplying vaccines overseas. In February, Poonawalla stated that his firm had been directed to prioritize India’s vaccine wants and requested overseas governments to be affected person.

Guleria stated that different producers who make vaccines are being tapped to chip in and assist step up production. He added that India would possibly quickly approve a 3rd vaccine — the Russian-made Sputnik V, which shall be produced by pharmaceutical agency Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

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