Govt aid will help vaccine production, says Poonawalla

By: |
April 21, 2021 4:30 AM

The government has announced assistance of Rs 4,500 crore to SII and Bharat Biotech to ramp up vaccine production. SII will get Rs 3,000 crore through credit support, reported to be an advance for vaccine supplies till July. Bharat Biotech will get Rs 1,500 crore.

He noted that the Pune-based company has been working closely with the government since April last year.He noted that the Pune-based company has been working closely with the government since April last year.

Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister N Sitharaman for the financial aid announced to vaccine makers, and said it would help vaccine production and distribution in India.

The government has announced assistance of Rs 4,500 crore to SII and Bharat Biotech to ramp up vaccine production. SII will get Rs 3,000 crore through credit support, reported to be an advance for vaccine supplies till July. Bharat Biotech will get Rs 1,500 crore.

In the first week of April, Poonawalla had sought Rs 3,000 crore from the government to scale up production from 70 million doses a month to 100 million doses a month by June-July.

He had said short-term financing would not work for SII. They were looking for an outright grant from the government to replace the capex made so far and the sacrifice made to divert capacity to make the Covid-19 vaccine, he had said.

SII has made initial investments of $270 million on its own and received $300 million from the Gates Foundation to manufacture the Covishield vaccine at its Pune manufacturing facility, in a tie-up with AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Poonawalla tweeted on Tuesday, “On behalf of the vaccine industry in India, I would like to thank and applaud Shri @narendramodi ji, @nsitharaman ji, for your decisive policy changes and swift financial aid which will help vaccine production and distribution in India.”

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