Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla on Thursday said that booster doses of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine have very little demand as citizens are fed up with the pandemic, PTI reported.
“Since December 2021, we stopped the production [of Covishield],” he said. “We had a stock of a few hundred million doses at that time and of that, 100 million doses have already expired.”
He made the statement while speaking to the media on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network, which was inaugurated in Pune on Thursday.
Poonawalla said that in the future, Indian citizens may take coronavirus vaccines and other shots together. However, he said that there is no culture of taking flu vaccines in India, like in Western countries.
“We tried when we launched a few vaccines in 2010,” Poonawalla recalled. “During the H1NI pandemic in 2011, no one took it. Flu is not something that sounds scary to people. They just do not want to take it,”
Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India CEO said that the company has completed trials for the coronavirus vaccine Covovax, and is expecting to get approval within 10 to 15 days, The Indian Express reported.
Covovax is the Indian version of United States drug manufacturer Novavax’s recombinant nanoparticle protein-based Covid-19 vaccine.
At the inaugural session on Thursday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that 70% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. .
Till October 20, India has administered a total of 2,19,46,34,236 Covid-19 vaccine doses, according to the Union health ministry. Of these, 4,90,711 doses were administered in the past 24 hours.