You are here: Home » Current Affairs » Coronavirus » News
Business Standard

Covid: Demand still strong for Covishield, says Covax's GAVI

Covishield production is currently at 250 million doses a month

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

India too had opened diplomatic dialogues with the European Union (EU) after the EU Digital Covid Certificate framework recognised the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, but not Covishield.

Global vaccine-sharing network COVAX is still seeing strong demand for India-made doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot, its co-lead GAVI said, following comments from producer the Serum Institute of India (SII) that uptake had slowed sharply.

The SII, the world's biggest vaccine maker, told India's CNBC-TV18 this week it would temporarily halve the vaccine's production as it had no fresh orders from the Indian government and COVAX was taking fewer doses than the company could offer.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla, whose company brands the shot Covishield, said COVAX was placing orders but "that's very slow and the uptake will pick up in the next quarter". Covishield production is currently at 250 million doses a month.

GAVI said COVAX had allocated 40 million Covishield doses to countries after New Delhi last month let the SII resume such supplies for the first time since April, and that it had the option to buy vaccines keeping a "flexible approach as the pandemic and countries' needs continue to evolve".

"We are still experiencing robust country demand for SII-Covishield ..." a GAVI spokesperson said in an email.

"Covishield will continue to play an important role within COVAX's diverse portfolio of vaccines ... to achieve higher coverage rates in lower-income countries."

Asked about the speed of vaccine orders and uptake, GAVI said the process takes time as doses need to be allocated to beneficiaries, plans put in place to administer them, approvals secured and shipment delivered.

"COVAX's goal is to protect populations as quickly as possible but every care must be taken to ensure recipient countries are able to deploy the doses we send them," GAVI said.

"And this is why it is so important that all manufacturers provide as much transparency as possible as to when and in what quantity volumes will be supplied."

The SII has a deal to supply up to 550 million Covishield doses to COVAX but has sent only about 37 million so far.


(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, December 09 2021. 13:39 IST