Drug giant is told to keep vaccine at home
The CEO of the Indian pharmaceutical giant that dozens of countries are counting on to supply them with COVID-19 vaccines said Sunday that their deliveries might be delayed because it had been “directed” to fill domestic needs before export orders.
India produces three-fifths of the world’s supply of all kinds of vaccines, and the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has launched one of the world’s largest and most ambitious vaccination campaigns, aiming to inoculate India’s 1.3 billion people.
Besides helping supply India and other clients, the company is expected to produce hundreds of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and more than 1 billion Novovax vaccines to be distributed through the global vaccination initiative COVAX, which aims to ensure that 92 low- and middle-income countries receive vaccines at the same time as the world’s 98 richest countries. COVAX did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the alert that foreign countries would have to wait for vaccines.