Require Around Rs 3,000 Crore to Ramp Up Covid-19 Vaccine Production, Says SII CEO Adar Poonawalla

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Serum Institute of India (SII) has asked central government for financial assistance of around Rs 3,000 crore to ramp up production capacity for making Covid-19 vaccines, company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Tuesday in a interview.

“We need roughly Rs 3,000 crores which is not a small figure considering we have already spent thousands of crores. The speed of vaccination in India is phenomenal. We will come to a point of exhausting our vaccination capacity. We have asked government for financial assistance to ramp up capacity. We are looking at collaborating with others for vaccine manufacturing. We will have to find alternate financial means if government does not help financially,” the Pune-based SII CEO said.

The company hopes to increase its capacity of Covishield to 110 million doses per month from June onwards, Poonawalla said, adding the SII is producing 2 million doses per day.

"We have delivered over 100 million doses to India alone and exported around 60 million doses to other countries," he added. Serum Institute along with other vaccine producers have agreed with the government to sacrifice profits. There is no vaccine industry on the planet that has agreed to provide vaccines at such a subsidised price, he added.

In another interview, Poonawalla said that Serum Institute is prioritising temporarily needs of India before others. The company currently has capacity to produce 60 to 70 million doses per month, he said. The vaccine industry has sacrificed millions of dollars to support the nation, he added.

(with inputs from PTI)