As the government continues to face a massive opposition backlash over the scarcity of Covid vaccines in the country and the decision to export them earlier this year, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday asserted that his company 'never exported vaccines at cost of the people of India'. SII produces AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine named Covishield in India.
Poonawalla underlined that vaccination in a large populous country such as India won't be possible in 2-3 months.
"The Covid 19 crisis has been difficult on people across the globe, including India. In the past few days, there has been intense discussion on the decision of our Government and Indian vaccine manufacturers including SII to export vaccines," a media statement issued by Poonawalla stated.
"We must also understand that this pandemic is not limited by geographic or political boundaries. We will not be safe until everyone globally is able to defeat the virus. Further, as part of our global alliances, we also had commitments to COVAX, so that they could distribute the vaccines around the world to end the pandemic," it added.
Poonawalla, who is currently said to be in UK, said that in January 2021, India has a stockpile of vaccine doses. "Our vaccination drive had started successfully and the number of daily cases were at an all-time low. At that stage, most people including health experts believed that India was turning the tide on the pandemic," he said.