Serum Institute disassociates itself from its executive's remarks on Covid vaccination drive 

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  Even a month after the Joe Biden administration announced that it was donating 80 million doses to various countries, India is yet to receive Covid-19 vaccines from the US. However, countries such as Taiwan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have got their shipment of vaccines.

Officials said conversations are on at many levels regarding the shipment but failed to provide a clear timeline and the number of vaccines that will be given to India. The 80 million doses that the US had decided to donate include vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca.

India has cleared Covaxin, Covishield, Sputnik and Moderna vaccines for emergency use, while Pfizer is yet to get approval from the Indian authorities. PM Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with US Vice-President Kamala Harris last month where the latter elaborated the Biden administration’s plans to donate the first tranche of 25 million of the 80 million doses.

“Just like we have in our domestic response, we will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by the US and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across international borders. This will take time, but the president has directed the administration to use all the levers of the US to protect individuals from this virus as quickly as possible,” a White House statement, detailing plans of the vaccine donations, had said. 

Officials believe that while the Centre is keen on the doses from the US, New Delhi’s domestic requirements would be met only if the vaccine manufacturing capacity is scaled up.