- Serum Institute of India (SII) has been told to prioritize India’s demand for COVID-19 vaccine shots first before distributing it to the rest of the world, reports CNBC.
- The move implies that foreign governments could potentially face order delays from SII as it places India’s needs ahead of others.
- SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said, “SII has been directed to prioritize the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world. We are trying our best.” However, Poonawalla did not elaborate on who gave the directive.
- SII is manufacturing the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) and Oxford University, locally known as Covishield.
- Covishield was also granted emergency use listing by the World Health Organization this month, allowing it to be supplied to low and middle-income countries.
- South Africa stopped AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout after a small early data suggested that AZN’s jab has limited protection against mild disease caused by the variant.
- The company, along with Pfizer, announced a new study to test whether alternating the AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines in a two-shot schedule is safe and provides protection against the infection.
- Price Action: AZN stock is down 0.1% at $50.54 in premarket trading.
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