New Delhi: Amid surge in COVID-19 infections in the country, Serum Institute of India (SII) chief Adar Poonawalla revealed that the issue of vaccine shortage in India will last for months.
India is currently battling the second wave of deadly coronavirus. With over 3 lakh cases and record deaths, India’s current pandemic situation is the worst around the globe.
Amid the rising questions surrounding the supply of COVID-19 vaccine, Serum Institute of India (SII) chief Adar Poonawalla said that the production of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to increase in July.
As per a report in the Financial Times, SII chief revealed that in July this year, the production capacity of COVID-19 vaccine will increase from 70 million doses a month to about 100 million doses a month.
SII chief’s statement comes a couple of days after the country commenced its third vaccination drive on May 1, in which all those above the age of 18 years are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine dose.
While speaking on the situation in India, Adar Poonawalla also highlighted that the authorities did not expect the second wave of COVID-19 to be this deadly and this soon. Everybody really felt that India had started to turn the tide on the pandemic," Poonawalla was quoted a saying.
Adding that if the authorities would have directed his firm to increase production as a caution back in time, they would have happily complied. "There were no orders, we did not think we needed to make more than 1 billion doses a year," Adar Poonawalla said.
Currently, Serum Institute of India (SII) is producing the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in the UK.
Meanwhile, India reported a spike of 3,68,147 fresh coronavirus infections, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,99,25,604 on Monday (May 3, 2021), as per data by the health ministry.
The country's total COVID-19 caseload has now increased to 1.99 crore (1,99,25,604), of which, 34.13 lakh (34,13,642) are active cases. India has also witnessed 3,417 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 2.18 lakh (2,18,959) coronavirus-related deaths.