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Indian vaccine maker to stop production of covishield: no takers, says top official

Indian vaccine maker to stop production of covishield: no takers, says top official

New Delhi: Covid has spent enough time infecting large number of people, besides bringing out its numerous variants that continue to do rounds making people to be weary of anymore vaccines, for all their cares.

In the face of dropping demand, the world's largest vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) will stop manufacturing its well-known vaccine Covishield from December 2021.

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of SII, said that available stock of around 100 million doses expired by December last year.

Poonawalla told media on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) that booster vaccines have no demand.

SII chief pinned on a general lethargy among people as they are fed up with the pandemic, according to PTI new agency.

"Since December 2021, we stopped the production (of Covishield). We had a stock of a few hundred million doses at that time and of that, 100 million doses have already expired," PTI quoted Poonawalla as saying.

"Now, Covovax should be allowed in two weeks. So I think they will and should probably have the policy to mix boosters. If WHO allowed it, then maybe the Indian regulator will and should allow it. But again, boosters have no demand at the moment. There is lethargy generally. People are fed up of Covid, vaccines. To be honest, I am also fed up with it. We all are," he said.

Unlike in the west, in India there is no habit of taking flu shot, he added saying despite launching a few vaccines in 2010 and later during H1N1 pandemic, no one took it.

India's acclaimed covishield, produced at the SII's Pune facility with a master seed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, had a huge demand in the peak of Covid

With inputs from India Today as well

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TAGS:covidcovishieldSerum Institute of India (SII)
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