Vaccine shortage triggers blame game, Centre refutes reports that it has not placed orders

Ponnawalla said that the Government had ordered 21 million vaccines at the end of February without any further demand. In March, it asked for another 110 million doses.


The government has announced that phase three of the vaccination drive may commence from May 1, in which all people above 18 are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. But recently, India is facing a severe shortage of vaccines in the whole country. 

Adar Poonewalla, CEO of Serum Institute India said that the government is taking Covid-19 lightly and when corona cases were rapidly increasing in January, the government ordered 21 million vaccines at the end of February and did not hint about the further demand for the vaccination. 

Meanwhile, the government claimed that order has been placed but the manufacturers are not able to meet the demands and are unable to supply the vaccine. 

Even the vaccine for the second phase of the vaccination drive has not been delivered completely. 

Also Read: Set to expand vaccine business, Poonawalla's Serum Institute to invest over 200 million pounds in UK

The Government of India in an official statement said that the government has ordered about 160 million vaccines last month. In April, the government has ordered 110 million Covishield vaccines from Serum Institute India and 50 million Covaxin from Bharat Biotech, and on the same day entire payment of Rs 1732.5 Crore to Serum Institute India and Rs 787.5 Crore to Bharat Biotech was made. 

The government said that it would be wrong if the companies say that the government had not given further orders after the end of February. The government has claimed that despite pre-orders and payments in advance, companies have not delivered the entire order. Serum Institute has delivered 87.4 million doses out of 100 million ordered doses and Bharat Biotech has delivered 8.81 million doses out of 20 million ordered doses. 

Earlier, Adar Poonewalla said that he won't want to go back to India from the UK because he does not feel safe because he received threat calls from powerful men of India. The government of India provided 'Y-category security' to guard him. But now it has been suspected that Poonewalla's run away to Britain was an excuse to enlarge his business in the United Kingdoms. 

Also Read: 'Receiving threats calls, I can't comment on Kumbh and Elections', says Adar Ponnawala

Pune-based vaccine maker the Serum Institute of India (SII) will invest 240 million pounds in the UK to expand its vaccine business and create multiple jobs in the country. The investment is part of the 1 billion-pound India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership that will create nearly 6,500 jobs in Britain.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday has also said that the SII could even manufacture inoculations in the UK in the future.

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