The Serum Institute of India (SII) has said it will be able to manufacture and supply 90 to 100 million doses of Covishield, the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), next month, news agency PTI reported on Sunday citing a letter by a senior company official.
"We are pleased to inform that in the month of June we will be able to manufacture and supply nine to 10 crore doses of our Covishield vaccine to the country as compared to our production capacity of 6.5 crore doses in May," Prakash Kumar Singh, the director of government and regulatory affairs at SII, said in the letter to Union home minister Amit Shah, according to PTI.
Singh's letter comes as several states have complained about the shortage of the anti-coronavirus disease jabs and said that they have been forced to shut down over the last few days due to a country-wide shortage. Several states, including Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Karnataka, among others, have floated global tenders for Covid-19 vaccines.
According to PTI, SII said its employees have been working round the clock in spite of various challenges because of the coronavirus pandemic. "Serum Institute of India has always been sincerely concerned about the protection of the citizens of our country and world at large from Covid-19. Under the leadership of our CEO, Adar C Poonawalla, our team have been working relentlessly shoulder to shoulder with our government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic," he said in the letter.
"We assure you that with the support of the Government of India and under your kind guidance, we are trying our best by utilising all of our resources to increase our production capacity of Covishield in the coming month also."
The Pune-based company informed the Centre earlier in May that the production of Covishield would be ramped up to 65 million in June, 70 million in July and 100 million each in August and September.
India is currently using SII's Covishield and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech in its immunisation programme. The Russian-made Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use and is being used in a few private hospitals.
According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Sunday, 212 million vaccine doses have been administered across the county since the Centre's vaccination drive on began on January 16 and more than 18.3 million people in age group of 18-44 years have been given the jab in ongoing third phase so far.