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Glut: Why India's largest vaccine maker is cutting production
"We have more than the 1.8 billion vaccine doses required to fully vaccinate the 950 million eligible adults," Dr. N K Arora, chief of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), told DW.
The Covishield vaccine accounts for nearly 90% of the 1.33 billion doses administered in India so far. India's other major vaccines include the the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, and Russia's Sputnik-V.
The private healthcare sector, which has millions of unsold vaccine doses, has started offering its stocks at heavily discounted rates to bulk buyers. However, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 and the NTAGI are still deliberating whether a booster dose is necessary or not.

"There is a predominant feeling that when the booster is administered, it should be of a vaccine based on a platform different from that of the first two doses. I can understand SII's anxieties but a final decision has not yet been made," a top government official who wished to remain anonymous told DW.

value-priced candidates
The SII has since said that it has resumed exports to COVAX for distribution to low and middle-income countries.

"SII also produces other vaccines such as Covovax," Vineeta Bal, a scientist with the National Institute of Immunology, told DW. "They could increase Covovax production and decrease Covishield production, because Covovax can be used in some age groups below 18 years old," she added.

by Cat on Tue Dec 14th, 2021 at 01:27:48 AM EST
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