As the largest vaccine producer in the world, India’s health minister says that it is now resuming exports and of surplus coronavirus vaccines following a recent surge in infections in the country.
“India is commitment towards the world’s collective fight against COVID-19,” Mansukh Mandaviya said, “but vaccinating Indians will remain the government's top priority.”
A key supplier for the World Health Organization-backed initiative aimed at vaccine equity known as COVAX, India began exporting doses in January but stopped doing so to inoculate its own population during a massive surge in infection there that pushed the country's health system to the brink of breaking point. It donated or sold 66 million vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries, but after putting a halt on the export, many developing countries were left without adequate supplies for millions of people.
“India's monthly coronavirus vaccine production has more than doubled since April and is expected to increase to 300 million doses in October,” Mandaviya said. “We will help the world and fulfil our responsibility to COVAX.”
The Serum Institute of India, manufacturers of Vaccines & immuno-biologicals, is now producing an estimated 150 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine each month following India's rise in inoculations in recent months – having administered more than 800 million vaccine doses.