Two Indian companies to roll out Covid vaccines
ECONOMYNEXT – Two of India’s biggest Pharmaceutical companies have jointly announced that they will develop, manufacture and supply Covid vaccines for India and the World.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Serum Institute (SII) of India Adar Poonawala and the Chairman and General Manager of Bharath Biotech Dr Krishna Ella in a joint letter made the announcement today.
The announcement follows the issue of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two vaccines in India the pharma giants are ready to roll the vaccines out, they said in a letter.
“The more task in front of them is saving the lives and livelihoods of populations in India and the world. Vaccines are a global public health good and they have the power to save lives and accelerate the return to economic normalcy at the earliest,” the letter said.
The Indian Express newspaper reported that SII has been testing its own version of the Astra-Zeneca Oxford Vaccine (AZD1222) which the company is calling Covishield in India.
Bharat Biotech is producing what is called an “indigenous” vaccine which is a deactivated Covid virus called Covaxine. It has been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research along with the company.
SII has already got a contract to produce a billion doses of its vaccine, but the Indian government has banned it from exporting the shots for four months.
The head of Sri Lanka’s committee planning the vaccine rollout in this country Lalith Weeratunge told media yesterday that the country was planning to vaccinate around 15pct of the population in the first stage.
The first to be vaccinated will be the frontline Health Workers, then the Police and Armed forces personnel deployed in dealing with Covid patients and quarantine centres and those who are over 60 years of age the President’s advisor said.
He said the government was looking at Covishield and Covaxine as their costs were low. (Colombo, January 5, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana