‘Everything falls on my shoulders’: Adar Poonawalla on vaccine pressure in India

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“I stayed here (London) for a long time because I didn’t want to go back to that situation. Everything fell on my shoulder but I couldn’t do it myself …” said Poonawalla.

The SII CEO told ‘The Times’ in an interview about receiving aggressive calls from some of the most powerful people in India, demanding supplies of Covishield -- the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine that the Serum Institute is producing in India.
The SII CEO told ‘The Times’ in an interview about receiving aggressive calls from some of the most powerful people in India, demanding supplies of Covishield — the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine that the Serum Institute is producing in India.

Indian Serum CEO Institute Adar Poonwalla on Saturday talked about the pressure he had above the production of the Covid-19 vaccine to meet the increasing demand in India as the country fought through the wave of both devastating coronavirus pandemics.

In his first comment because he was given the security of the ‘Y’ category by the Government of India earlier this week, Poonawalla told the ‘The Times’ in an interview about receiving aggressive calls from some of the most powerful people in India, demanding covishield supplies – – Oxford / AstraZeneca Vaccine Covid -19 that the Serum Institute produced in India.

The pressure was largely behind his decision to fly to London with his wife and children, the 40-year-old businessman said.

“I stayed here (London) for a long time because I didn’t want to go back to that situation. Everything fell on my shoulder but I can’t do it myself … I don’t want to be in a situation where you just try to do your work, And just because you can’t provide your needs x, y or z you really don’t want to guess what they will do, “Poonawalla told the newspaper.

“The level of expectations and aggression is truly unprecedented. It was amazing. Everyone feels they have to get a vaccine. They can’t understand why other people have to get it before they,” he said.

Employers indicate in the interview that his move to London was also related to the business plan to expand the manufacture of vaccines to countries outside India, which might include people like England.

“There will be an announcement in the next few days,” he said, when asked about England as one of the production bases outside India.

According to the newspaper, when the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine was approved in January this year, the Indian Serum Institute has increased its annual production capacity from a dose of 1.5 to 2.5 billion at a cost of USD 800 million, and hoarding 50 million doses of covishield.

The company began exporting to 68 countries, including the UK, as it seemed worse, until the situation worsened in recent weeks.

“We were truly panting for all the help we could get,” said Poonawalla in an interview ‘times’.

“I don’t think that God can estimate it will be bad this,” he said.

With allegations of issuance because the cost of Covishield recently climbed, he called it “truly wrong” and added that the covishield would still be “the most affordable vaccine on the planet” even at a higher price.

“We have done the best we can without cutting angles or making mistakes or influence. I will wait for history to judge,” he said.

“I always have a sense of responsibility to India and the world because of the vaccine we made, but we never made a vaccine needed in terms of saving lives,” he added.

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