Serum Institute to export Covid-19 vaccine to 25-30 countries on Tuesday

Ref: Business Standard
  • According to a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official, the first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will leave for 25 to 30 countries under the COVAX scheme by Tuesday, reported Business Standard.

  • Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the WHO, said "we hope that this will be followed by other vaccines that would be made in India."

  • She also indicated that manufacturers should prioritise the COVAX programme rather than bilateral deals, but "what we see today is kind of the opposite, that there are more bilateral deals than supplies to COVAX."

  • Meanwhile, Krishna Ella, managing director at Bharat Biotech, said his company "would want to be part of the COVAX [scheme] very soon. The moment we come out with the Phase III efficacy data, we would want to be part of COVAX."

  • He added that Bharat Biotech is also keen to work with the WHO on an intra-nasal vaccine and would like to move things along more quickly. The vaccine is set to go into Phase I clinical testing this week, according to the news source.