Registering a spike for the 40th day in a row, India on Monday logged 2,73,810 new Covid-19 infections as its total caseload surged to 1,50,61,919.
The development comes in the backdrop of numerous states facing shortage of oxygen supply, coronavirus vaccines and other key antiviral drugs such as Remdesivir.
To add to the country’s woes, one of the three vaccines approved for emergency use— Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, may witness a halt in production due to US ban on exports of key medical supplies and equipment.
According to a report published by The Economist, the production of at least 160 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines (per month) may come to a halt in the coming weeks if the US doesn’t provide “37 critical items”.
This follows the United States administration’s move to invoke the Defense Production Act in February, which relates to distribution of products and permits the government to curb the export of raw materials critical for vaccine production.
Raising concerns over the US ban, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla had tweeted to US President Joe Biden.
“Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up. Your administration has the details,” tweeted Poonawalla, adding a ‘folded hands’ emoji at the end.
Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up. Your administration has the details. ðð— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) April 16, 2021
According to a report published by Hindustan Times, “The long list of raw materials that SII imports from the US include filters, bags, and adjuvant. An adjuvant is a substance that is used to increase the efficacy of a vaccine and helps the immune system generate antibodies.”
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