Pune-based Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla has urged US President Joe Biden to lift the embargo on raw material exports that are required for the manufacturing of vaccines. Notably, the Serum Institute is manufacturing the jab ‘Covishield’ jointly developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Notably, Covishield is one of the most crucial vaccines for India and many other low-income countries. However, the shortage of raw materials is affecting manufacturing and the Serum Institute is unable to ramp up production despite a massive surge in demand.
Several states in India have informed the Centre about vaccine shortage and the Union government in a bid to tide over the situation has cleared the COVID-19 vaccine from Russia—Sputnik V. COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising rapidly in India and as a result, more people are queueing up outside vaccination centres across the country.
Adar Poonawalla tweets
Adar Poonawalla took to Twitter to make the request to Joe Biden. He said, “Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up. Your administration has the details.”
The US had earlier invoked the Defence Act that has restricted the export of raw materials required for ramping up vaccine production. Poonawalla had said a few days ago that the US embargo on exports is “as good as banning vaccines”.
Poonawalla had earlier said the production of COVID-19 vaccines in the country has been impacted as Europe and the US have banned the export of critical raw materials.
“I wish I could go there and protest in the US myself to say that you are holding back critical raw materials that are required for Covax and so many vaccine manufacturers in India and other parts of the world,” Adar Poonawalla said.
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