SII’s Adar Poonawalla assures Covid-19 vaccines to Canada would ‘fly out in less than a month’
Serum Institute of India’s (SII’s) owner and chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla on Monday assured Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the anti-coronavirus disease vaccine it is manufacturing would “fly out to Canada in less than a month” as the vaccine awaits regulatory approval there.
“Dear Hon’ble PM @JustinTrudeau, I thank you for your warm words towards India and it’s vaccine industry. As we await regulatory approvals from Canada, I assure you, @SerumInstIndia will fly out #COVISHIELD to Canada in less than a month; I’m on it!” Poonawalla tweeted on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured Covid-19 vaccine supplies sought by Canada in a call with Trudeau. “Was happy to receive a call from my friend @JustinTrudeau. Assured him that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of COVID vaccines sought by Canada. We also agreed to continue collaborating on other important issues like Climate Change and the global economic recovery,” Modi tweeted on February 10.
In response, Trudeau’s official website released a statement saying “Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Modi spoke about India's significant efforts in promoting vaccine production and supply, which have provided vital support to countries around the world. The two leaders agreed to work together on access to vaccines. The leaders also recognized the need for continued global coordination to respond to the pandemic and to promote recovery.”
While Covishield awaits regulatory approval in Canada, the country provided emergency use authorisation (EUA) to the vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in late December 2020. On Saturday, Trudeau tweeted “Update on vaccines: We’ll now receive 10.8 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine between April and June, and we’ll get our entire order of 40 million doses by the end of September.”
India’s vaccine delivery is expected to bring some optimism to the ties between the two countries which witnessed friction after Trudeau, in December 2020, conveyed his support to the ongoing farmers’ protest in Delhi. However, India’s external affairs ministry (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Friday said that the Canadian PM “commended efforts of the government of India to choose the path of dialogue as befitting a democracy.”