Pune/Hyderabad: Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech on Tuesday jointly communicated their pledge for the smooth rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in India and the world to wipe out the deadly virus that originated several months back in China’s Wuhan.
“Adar Poonawala and Dr Krishna Ella, jointly on behalf of the two companies, today communicated their combined intent to develop, manufacture and supply the COVID-19 vaccines for India and globally,” read a joint statement from SII and Bharat Biotech.
“We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our COVID-19 vaccines,’’ the joint statement of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech said.
Notably, Adar Poonawala is the Chief Executive Officer of SII, while Dr Krishna Ella is the Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech.
“They said, the more important task in front of them is saving the lives and livelihoods of populations in India and the world. Vaccines are a global public health good and they have the power to save lives and accelerate the return to economic normalcy at the earliest,” the statement said.
— SerumInstituteIndia (@SerumInstIndia) January 5, 2021
It further said, “Now that two COVID-19 vaccines have been issued EUA (emergency use authorization) in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution, such that populations that need it the most receive high quality, safe and efficacious vaccines.”
“Both our companies are fully engaged in this activity and consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth rollout of vaccines. Each of our companies continues their COVID-19 vaccines development activities as planned,” the statement said.
“We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement added.
Notably on Monday, PM Modi pointed out that the world`s largest Covid-19 vaccination programme is also going to start in India and that the CSIR and other institutions are working together came together to face every challenge and find solutions for new situations.
India has one of the largest vaccine manufacturing capacities in the world (including the largest vaccine producer – Serum Institute of India) and has secured authorisation to mass-produce the AstraZeneca, Novavax and Gamaleya Research Institute vaccines.
With a population of 1.3 billion (and 94 million over 65-year-olds), the domestic vaccination drive will be the largest in the world. The country has a good track record of such drives with masses of the population regularly gaining inoculation for various diseases such as polio and cholera.
India`s vaccine rollout will begin with frontline healthcare workers and individuals over the age of 50 years gaining priority. The government aims to vaccinate some 250 million people over six-to-eight months.