Stopped producing anti-Covid vaccine Covishield in December 2021, says SII : The Tribune India

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Stopped producing anti-Covid vaccine Covishield in December 2021, says SII

Stopped producing anti-Covid vaccine Covishield in December 2021, says SII

The SII manufactured the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine under the brand name Covishield.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday said it had stopped manufacturing its anti-Covid-19 vaccine Covishield in December 2021 after British-Swedish pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca announced it was withdrawing its vaccine against Covid, Vaxzevria, due to “commercial reasons” as the demand for it decreased globally.

The SII manufactured the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine under the brand name Covishield.

“With India achieving high vaccination rates in 2021 and 2022, coupled with the emergence of new mutant variant strains, the demand for previous vaccines diminished significantly. Consequently, since December 2021, we have stopped the manufacturing and supply of additional doses of Covishield,” an SII spokesperson said in the statement.

At least 170 crore Covishield doses have been administered since January 2021.

AstraZeneca on Tuesday said it was proud of the vaccine, but it had made a commercial decision. It said the rise of new coronavirus variants meant the demand had shifted to newer updated vaccines.

“According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over three billion doses were supplied globally. As multiple variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed, there is a surplus of available updated vaccines. We will now work with regulators and our partners to align on a clear path forward to conclude this chapter and significant contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

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