Covit-19, India’s largest vaccine maker, is reducing production of the vaccine because there are now more vaccines in the country than are needed to vaccinate entire populations.
As of this Monday (12/13/2021), according to the country’s Ministry of Health, nearly 816 million adults have received at least one dose, while 512 million have already received two injections.
“We have more than 1.8 billion vaccines needed to fully vaccinate 950 million adults,” said Dr. John H. Snyder, of the National Technical Advisory Council for Immunization (NTGI). NK Aurora told DW.
NTAGI advises the government on vaccines, taking into account scientific research on the effects of immunization policies and programs.
Halves IBS production
The Serum Institute of India (SII), India’s largest vaccine maker, announced this week that it will reduce production of the widely used covi shield in India by at least 50 per cent due to lack of orders from the Indian government.
Nearly 90 per cent of the 1.33 billion doses administered in India so far are from the Covshield vaccine. Other vaccines administered in India include Kovacsin, Bharat Biotech and Sputnik-V.
In a televised interview last week, SII chief executive Adar Poonawalla said that “supply supply to Covshield is in excess of demand” and that the company should reduce its production.
The institute has a 500 million dose cow shield, half of which is ready and the other half will be ready in two months, he said.
India’s Govt. The government must also decide when children under the age of 18 should be vaccinated.
There is an ongoing debate over whether the booster vaccine is available in India.
Accreditation for booster vaccines
Experts, including the Association of Healthcare Providers (AHPI), an organization representing 12,000 small and medium-sized hospitals, are now urging the government to allow adults to receive booster doses on a voluntary basis.
The AHPI also said that the surplus of vaccines could be used effectively for this purpose. The private healthcare sector, which now owns millions of unsold Govt vaccines, has begun offering its shares to wholesalers at greatly reduced prices. However, the National Expert Panel on Vaccine Administration for Covit-19 and NTAGI are not yet aware of the need for a booster dose.
Earlier this month, the Inspector General of Pharmaceuticals of India was asked to approve Covshield as a booster dose, citing the emergence of new variants of the corona virus such as Omigran. “We have not received any response, but we have a lot of vaccines,” a SII official told DW.
However, many health experts believe that messenger RNA vaccines are the most effective stimulants after two doses of covaxin or covi shield. Instead, IBS could focus on distributing its doses via COVAX to the global vaccine transfer network, said Guadam Menon, a professor of physics and biology at Asoka University.
“Comply with COVAX Obligations”
“It is really time to do our best to fulfill our COVAX obligations, to ensure that low- and middle-income, vaccine-gap countries have access to them as soon as possible. This is in line with our international obligations, as well as our moral responsibility,” Menon told DW.
The World Health Organization has expressed concern that rich nations, surprised by the appearance of the Omigran variant, could begin to accumulate vaccines again, affecting global distribution and further complicating efforts to end the epidemic. In African countries, only 7.5 percent of the population is vaccinated.
(rmr / ms)
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