Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) is set to export three million doses of its domestically manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in about a week or ten days on behalf of the British pharmaceutical major which is facing production issues at its own factory in Belgium, Times of India.
It should be noted that owing to the production issues at AztraZeneca's Belgian factory, there has been a big cut in shipments to European nations causing an uproar in the European Union which is struggling in containing the pandemic.
The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in a collaboration with the University of Oxford is being manufactured by SII under an agreement which also allows SII based vaccine maker to freely strike supply deals. As a result, the company is also supplying South Africa with 1.5 million doses of the vaccine at $5.25 a dose, the same price at which it will be supplying vaccines to KSA.
SII's chief executive Adar Poonawalla has stated that the company would continue to support AstraZeneca whenever they need the support. He said, "We are happy to do so." He, however, has clearly stated that the British pharma major has not asked the company to supply to Europe, given it would have an impact over the supplies for India and African nations.
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