NEW DELHI : Despite the international pressure and several rounds of negotiations by Serum Institute of India (SII), the government has turned down the request from SII to export 50 lakh doses of Covishield to UK under its prior commitments.
The decision was taken in the wake of severe supply crunch of vaccines locally and government insisting the local production be supplied to protect Indians first.
States have been prompted to approach the Pune-based company to negotiate contracts to procure these doses to meet local demand. The doses are likely to be used to vaccinate those between 18-44 age.
“These 50 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine are now available for inoculating people between 18-44 years age. States have been asked to procure it. Private hospitals can also get them,” an official source said.
The ministry has asked the states to contact the company and initiate procurement activity at the earliest. However, sources said, the labels of these doses may have to be changed. Since the vaccines were packed for supply to the UK, a different label was affixed on the vials but now since they have to be supplied in the local market, they need a label for the same.