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Coronavirus vaccine supplies from India uncertain: report

ECONOMYNEXT – A balance of one million Coronavirus vaccines from India out of a 1.5 million vaccine ordered by Sri Lanka may not be delivered by mid-March or April as originally expected, a media report said.

Serum Institute of India had informed Sri Lanka’s State Pharmaceuticals Corporation that its production has been hit by a fire at one of the plants, Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times newspaper said.

The Serum Institute letter signed by CEO Adar C. Poonawalla and sent to SPC Chairman Dr Prasanna Gunasena says:

“To support the global effort fighting the pandemic, SII (Serum Institute of India) had recently signed additional agreements with governments outside of the scope of its original sub-licence agreement with AstraZeneca,” SII Chief Executive Adar C Poonewalla was quoted as saying in a letter to the SPC.

“To meet these additional supply commitments, we commenced the expansion of our manufacturing facilities. Regrettably, a fire at one of our buildings has caused obstacles to the expansion of our monthly manufacturing output.

“…Under these circumstances supply to you cannot be guaranteed in the foreseeable months due to this force majeure.”

SII had offered to refund the 5.25 million dollars per dose paid, the report said. The SII had already delivered 500,000 doses.

The SII was licensed by AstraZeneca to produce a billion vaccine doses for developing countries and at least 400 million by the end of 2021.

A 264,000 batch of vaccines from the WHOs Covax initiative came to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka said the cabinet had also approved purchasing another 10 million vaccines from the SII and 3.5 million from the UK. (Colombo/Mar08/2021)

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