By Reon Janse van Rensburg
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the largest vaccine producer in the world, the Serum Institute of India, has warned that it could take at least four years to produce enough vaccines for the entire world population.
This pharmaceutical enterprise produces 1,5 billion vaccines per year for more than 170 countries in the world, most of which are developing countries.
Poonawalla told the Financial Times on Monday that pharmaceutical companies do not have the production capacity to produce vaccines fast enough to vaccinate every person before 2024.
The Serum Institute of India is currently collaborating with five other pharmaceutical companies across the country, including AstraZeneca and Novavax, to develop a coronavirus vaccine. These companies will also possibly work with the Russian Gamaleya Research Institute to produce the Sputnik vaccine.
The pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, said last week that the vaccine they are currently working on will be available by the end of this year or early next year, even after the company was forced to stop important trials after a person participating in the trials unexpectedly fell ill.
“It will take four to five years before everyone on this planet gets the vaccine.” – Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India
According to Poonawalla the institute is in discussion with investors to raise $600 million that will allow the production capacity of the company to increase and the target of 1 billion doses to be manufactured faster.
He mentioned that the world may need 15 billion doses if the vaccine requires two vaccinations, as in the case of measles.
He mentioned that he is aware of the fact that the world wants to be optimistic about the possibility of a vaccine, and that it will be produced at a large scale, but currently no one is near that level.