China has hailed India’s ability to mass-produce the COVIID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford. “India is highly competitive and carries great potential by many measures,” writes Chinese state-run media, Global Times.
GT has particularly acknowledged the Serum Institute of India (SII), which expects to be ready with a vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by early 2022. “We aim to manufacture 4-5 million doses per month, following which we aim to scale up production to 10 million doses a month, based on the success of the trials,” says Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of SII.
Poonawalla also stated that the price of the vaccine will be kept “affordable”. He further told the Indian Express that SII has partnered with Mylab to expand the production of COVID-19 testing kits, taking it from 1.5 lakh units per week to 20 lakh units per week.
GT’s admiration for India has come at a time when the Chinese government has been critical of India’s trade policies which were recently amended to protect Indian corporates from a hostile takeover by its neighbouring countries.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also accused Chinese manufacturers of supplying faulty testing kits after huge variations in the accuracy of results were noticed across regions. The test kit manufacturer Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech has denied these allegations.
Global Covid-19 infections have hit nearly three million with more than 206,000 deaths. India’s vaccine market looks particularly attractive due to high production capabilities and low prices.
India is one of the world’s major manufacturers of generic drugs and vaccines and is known for its strengths in scientific research and medicine development.
“India’s advantages in vaccine development and production mean it can at least rely on itself to meet the huge domestic demand, which cannot be met by any other country in the world in the short term,” says GT. If the human trials for the vaccine are successful, India will be a self-reliant nation to meet its vaccine demand.