‘Does Govt Have Rs 80,000 Cr?’: Serum CEO on COVID-19 Vaccine
“This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle,” Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted.
Adar Poonawalla, the CEO and owner of the Serum Institute of India, on Saturday, 26 September, questioned whether the Indian government will have Rs 80,000 crore available over the next one year, pointing out that the Health Ministry would need the amount to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in the country.
"This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle... I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution," he said in his tweets.
The Serum Institute (SII) is the manufacturing partner, among other worldwide vaccine manufactures, to produce on a mass-scale the vaccine currently under trial and being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. SII is looking after the trials at 17 sites across India. The vaccine candidate, Covishield, is in Phase 2 and 3 human trials at the moment.
The race to develop a vaccine comes as over 32.5 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded globally till now, with the death toll close to one million. India is the second worst-affected country in terms of the number of cases, with over 5.9 million reported infections and more than 93,000 deaths.
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