The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer has been commissioned to give priority to India

Is it a technical problem or is India, the global giant in vaccine production, reviewing its priorities? The UK listed the significant drop in vaccine shipments on Thursday “A delay in expected arrival” Doses made in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world by volume.

Of the 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine ordered by the UK, 10 million are said to come from the Serum Institute of India. Five million cans, or half, had already been shipped to the UK in early March. “We will try to provide more later based on the current situation and the need for the government vaccination program in India.”, responded a spokesman for SII, quoted by Agence France Presse.

A decision by the Indian government

The CEO of the Serum Institute of India also spoke in this direction, believing it was a decision by the Indian government. “It only depends on India and has nothing to do with SII”Adar Poonawalla told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, saying deliveries would depend on the number of cans the Indian government is allowed to export to the UK. The extravagant CEO of SII had already called on the countries and governments waiting for extravagance to be patient at the end of February. “Serum Institute of India is called to prioritize the vast needs of India in order to find a balance with the needs of the rest of the world”he tweeted on February 21.

Two bell sounds

But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that it was a “Delay, as is so often the case, for various technical reasons”. Contacted by “Les Echos”, the Indian Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment on the situation and SII did not want to comment further on the matter.

Deliveries of vaccines from overseas are based on an assessment of the reasonable availability in the country.

In a speech to Parliament on Wednesday, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said: “Vaccine deliveries abroad are based on the assessment of sufficient availability in the country”that accredits the manufacturer version. “This is continuously monitored and takes into account the requirements of our household vaccination program, which is developing in different phases”added the head of Indian diplomacy.

An extensive vaccination program

India launched an ambitious vaccination program on January 16 with the aim of vaccinating 300 million people by July. Since the beginning of its own campaign, the South Asian giant has made the bold decision to export vaccines to the rest of the world at the same time: today it has already shipped nearly 60 million vaccine doses to 73 countries. , as an export or as a donation. The Serum Institute of India alone has pledged to deliver more than half of the 2 million doses Covax’s Solidarity Mechanism plans to distribute to 92 low- and middle-income countries by the end of the year.

The Indian Prime Minister has repeatedly said that he is using his country’s impressive vaccine manufacturing capacity at the service of the country “All of Humanity”. But at the moment only 39 million people are vaccinated in India, and the number of new infections with the coronavirus has been rising for several weeks, which raises fears of a possible second wave …