A senior official at the India Serum Institute, the world’s largest producer of vaccines, has warned that the decline in jabs will continue for months after the Narendra Modi government fails to prepare for the second coronavirus.
Adar Poonawalla told the Financial Times that the acute shortage of vaccines in India would continue until July, with production expected to increase from 60m-70m per month to 100m.
Poonawalla said authorities did not expect to meet with the second wave in January when new cases of illness dropped. “Everyone feels that India is starting to cope with the epidemic,” he said.
But India has been plagued by more recent epidemics, according to a new 400,000 new criminal report on Sunday and many cities and countries are not closed, including the capital New Delhi.
Prime Minister Modi is accused of neglecting and prioritizing domestic politics on health issues after approving rallies and Kumbh Mela, a Hindu religious festival that attracts millions of people, despite widespread illness.
India has vaccinated less than 2% of the total population, with most countries said to be out of jail, forcing them to reschedule plans on Saturday to extend the campaign to anyone 18 years of age or older.
Poonawalla said the Serum Institute was ridiculed by politicians and critics for the lack of vaccinations, pointing out that the government, not the company, is in control of the policy. The company has also been criticized for charging governments and hospitals higher prices than offered by the federal government. Poonawalla he lowered the trees following criticism.
“I have been treated unfairly and unfairly,” he said, adding that he had not encouraged people before because “there were no laws, we did not think we needed more than 1bn in one year”.
New Delhi has ordered a 21m vaccine from the Serum Institute, which manufactures the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and will supply most of the drugs in the country, at the end of February but did not say when to buy them. An additional 110m levels were set in March as the disease began to rise sharply.
The government last month awarded a loan to the company to help transform the manufacturing process into a new vaccine.
“We have done this so far in order to end the nation’s insignificance, and it is clear that the world has experienced it,” Poonawalla said.
The government in April too he began to force himself to get more jabs from foreign suppliers. It also granted emergency approval to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and said it would do the same for those approved in the US, UK, Europe or Japan.
However, local manufacturers affiliated with Sputnik V say they have months left to distribute it at home.
Experts say that the government must have set aside funds to provide them with adequate vaccines and vaccines before the plague.
“It’s very important that you have something to offer, it makes sense,” said Chandrakant Lahariya, a medical specialist in New Delhi, adding that the government has not done well in implementing its immunization program.
“Obviously there’s not much in the group,” he said.
Poonawalla spoke to the Financial Times from London, where he contacted his wife and children shortly before the UK enacted a law from India. He told the Times of London that he had left the country probably because of the unknown “threats” of big unnamed politicians and businesses seeking to get vaccinated. The Indian government last week granted Poonawalla additional protection.
But he told FT he was not in London for security and was going to do a normal business, and he wants to return to India next week.
The Serum Institute was sued by foreign governments for failing to comply with post-India trade agreements fifth vaccine in March.
Poonawalla said the company had begun to “retaliate” against governments that set up systems but did not recognize countries. “But I think if we don’t see a big change in two, three months I think we’re going to have a hard time.”