Serum-produced Covishield crosses 100-cr jab mark in India

By: |
November 17, 2021 7:57 AM

The country has administered 113.55 crore Covid-19 vaccines till date, and of these, 100.31 crore were Covishield.

serum covishield vaccineSII estimates that about 65% of the children in the world receive at least one vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute.

Serum Institute of India’s Covid-19 vaccine Covishield on Tuesday crossed the 100-crore vaccination mark. The country has administered 113.55 crore Covid-19 vaccines till date, and of these, 100.31 crore were Covishield. Two billion doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine doses have been supplied worldwide in a year. Of these, 1.3 billion came from SII.

The first lot of vaccines were rolled out from SII’s Pune facility on January 12, 2021. Since then, SII ramped up capacity from 50 lakh doses a month to 22 crore doses by October 2021. It is expected to go up to 24 crore doses a month soon.

Around 76% of the country’s adult population has got the first dose and around one-third are fully vaccinated. Out of the total 113 crore doses administered so far, 75.50 lakh are first doses and 37.51 lakh are second. The country has set a target of administering 90% with single dose by end of November.

Serum had to ramp up production as Bharat Biotech, makers of Covaxin, failed to complete deliveries. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla has built on the legacy created by his father and founder chairman and MD Cyrus Poonawalla. It was an audacious move 55 years ago by Poonawalla senior to set up a vaccine manufacturing in the country and battle the then bureaucracy and prevailing regulatory environment. Since then, SII has become the largest vaccine maker in the world by number of doses with a manufacturing capacity of 1.5 billion doses.

SII estimates that about 65% of the children in the world receive at least one vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute. Much before the pandemic, SII had become the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, making low-cost World Health Organization-accredited vaccines. When the pandemic struck in 2020, SII was among the first to start working on vaccines.

SII has a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca to supply 1 billion doses for low- and middle-income countries. AstraZeneca, in turn, has a license agreement with Oxford University for its recombinant adenovirus vaccine. Apart from Covishield, SII is also at an advance stage with the Novavax vaccine production, which is expecting a regulatory approval soon. There is also a tie-up for manufacturing Russian vaccine Sputnik.

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