Exports of SII vaccine blocked till March-April

Exports of SII vaccine blocked till March-April
New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by the Serum Institute of India are currently blocked until March or April, as India (along with China) look set to take the lead in driving the region's distribution efforts in the months ahead, according to Moodys Analytics.

It said that India's advancement towards inoculations is a crucial development for the region.

India has approved two vaccines approved for emergency use last week -- one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, the other domestically developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.

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Starting January 16, the Indian government's plan is to inoculate nearly 300 million high-priority people including health workers, the elderly, and those with higher comorbidities by August, Moody's Analytics has said.

"This is an important development. As India is the second most-impacted country in the world, after the US, the need for local immunization is paramount to contain the significant socioeconomic costs, and the country's success in advancing on this front will eventually soften the severity of the pandemic within the region," it said.

Plus, as the largest producer of vaccines in the world, with 60 per cent of the global share, India is well-positioned to use its existing manufacturing capabilities to contribute to mass vaccine production and distribution needs for other countries in addition to meeting its domestic requirements, it added.

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Although exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by the Serum Institute of India are currently blocked until March or April, India (along with China) look set to take the lead in driving the region's distribution efforts in the months ahead, Moody's Analytics said.

Mixed reports on the effectiveness of (China's) Sinovac vaccine, for instance, have set back vaccination efforts in countries considering its use as part of their inoculation drive. So while the short-term risks from intensifying domestic outbreaks have increased and will dampen the March quarter recovery in Japan, Malaysia and South Korea, the potential upsides to regional recovery in the second half of 2021 have not appreciably shied our outlook, the report said.

--IANS

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