In light of the escalating COVID-19 cases in the country, the Serum Institute of India has advised the Centre to utilise the available 10 crore doses of Covishield supplied free of charge by GAVI under the COVAX facility, according to an official source.
The Pune-based firm has written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF) stating that if the Indian government does not take these 10 crore free Covishield doses in a timely manner, it will result in the wasting of life-saving vaccinations during the pandemic outbreak.
Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, is said to have indicated in a letter to the ministry that the company had previously provided 14 crore doses of Covishield to the Government of India (GoI) through UNICEF under the GAVI "COVAX" service at no cost.
GAVI has also offered 10 crore doses of Covishield free of charge to Gol under the COVAX facility, in addition to these 14 crore doses, the source said.
"As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our country, using the 10 million free Covishield vaccine doses made accessible by GAVI for our residents as soon as possible will be advantageous in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This will be critical in advancing the world's largest immunisation push toward completion under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji"