SII prohibited from exporting Covid 19 vaccine for months, Centre

Union Government will not allow the export of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for several months, said the head of Serum Institute of India, which has been contracted to make 1 billion doses of the vaccine for developing nations. Adar Poonawalla, the company’s CEO, said, the vaccine was granted emergency authorisation on Sunday, but on the condition that Serum Institute doesn’t export the shots to ensure that vulnerable populations in India are protected against deadly pandemic. 

With rich nations reserving most of the vaccines that will be made this year, Serum Institute,  the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer is likely to make most of the inoculations for the developing countries. The ban on exports implies that poorer nations will probably have to wait a few months before receiving their first shots. The CEO added that the company also has been barred from selling the vaccine on the private market. 

“We can only give (the vaccines) to the government of India at the moment,” Poonawalla said, adding the decision was also made to prevent hoarding. Due to the centre's ban, the export of vaccines for COVAX, the ambitious initiative created to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines set up by the World Health Organization, vaccines alliance GAVI and CEPI, a global coalition to fight epidemics will begin after March or April 2021. He added, “We can’t vaccinate everybody right now. We can prioritise". 

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