‘Vaccination rates will rise as production increases': virologist Gagandeep Kang
- India’s Panacea Biotec and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Monday announced that full-scale production of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is slated to begin this summer.
Virologist and member of Supreme Court-appointed committee on allocation of medical oxygen Gagandeep Kang on Tuesday said that there is a global shortage of vaccines and India has to take a decision on whether it wants to buy vaccines developed by either Chinese or Russian vaccination companies.
She said that a decision should be taken on procurement of vaccines until Indian companies begin production. She also said that vaccination rates will go up as soon as companies ramp up production. “There is a global vaccine shortage and we can import vaccines but the vaccines made in China and Russia are the only ones available hence we have to decide which vaccines we are willing to buy until Indian companies ramp up production,” Dr Kang was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
India’s Panacea Biotec and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Monday announced that full-scale production of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is slated to begin this summer. The Russian sovereign wealth fund has tied up with Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech to produce at least 850 million doses a year in India. India has not made any deals with China so far regarding procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Vaccinations are slow as there is no or limited supply. There were supposed to be more doses of vaccines available but as companies step up production vaccination rates will go up,” Kang further added.
Several states in India have written to the Centre regarding halting of vaccination drives due to lack of vaccines. The Punjab and Delhi governments have also said that their vaccine procurement requests were turned down by vaccine companies Moderna and Pfizer. According to the health ministry on Monday, India has so far vaccinated at least 196 million people out of which 43.1 million people have been administered with both doses.