'Will Boost Vaccine Production Capacity': Adar Poonawalla Thanks US, India for Policy Changes

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Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Friday thanked efforts by US and India for lifting Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing restrictions and said the move will boost India’s vaccine production capacity and strengthen united fight against the pandemic.

In a tweet, Poonawalla thanked US President Joe Biden and Externals Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and said “this policy change will hopefully increase the supply of raw materials globally and to India; boosting our vaccine production capacity and strengthening our united fight against this pandemic.”

The comment comes as the Biden administration removed the 1950 Defense Production Act priority ratings on AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sanofi vaccines. The law was imposed to prioritise vaccine supplies for American manufacturers. The lifting of this restriction would let US companies take their own decision on whom they want to sell their vaccines.

This has allowed SII, which manufactures both the AstraZeneca and Novivax vaccines to boost its production capacity.

The US confident of having enough supply of vaccine for Americans announced on Thursday that it would be donating surplus US vaccine supply of 25 million jabs abroad. The US said it will allocate 75 per cent – nearly 1.9 crore of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses – of unused COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa as part of his administration’s framework for sharing 80 million (8 crore) vaccines globally by the end of June.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and three other world leaders and informed them that the US will start sharing the first 25 million (2.5 crore) doses of COVID vaccines to their respective countries.

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