Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the fire at the Pune facility of the company will not affect the supply of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. The Serum Institute of India indeed is a major player in the fight against coronavirus.
The major fire that broke out at SII’s under-construction vaccine manufacturing plant killed five persons on January 21. Poonawalla said that there was no damage to Covishield. They are using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in India’s Covid inoculation drive. Poonawalla added that the other facilities involved in the production of Rotavirus. And BCG vaccines were damaged with the financial losses pegged at over Rs 1,000 crore.
Poonawalla confirmed, “We have got multiple facilities. The fire did not affect the supply of the Covid vaccine. Our other productions, such as the BCG vaccine, suffered the loss. We will make up for the supply gap. We have suffered a huge financial loss. But there is no supply loss.”
SII CMD and Adar’s father Cyrus Poonawalla said, “There was no production at the building. The production was yet to start. The fire did not cause damage to other buildings in the special economic zone.”
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray visited SII and took stock of the situation. He said, “Covid-19 has not gone from Maharashtra. Last week we had a ray of hope following the launch of the vaccination drive. The Covid vaccine stock in SII is safe.”
Adar Poonawalla tweeted, ‘Thank you Shri Uddhav Ji @CMOMaharashtra and @AUThackeray for visiting @SerumInstIndia and extending your help and support during this terrible crisis. As you have seen, the production of #COVISHIELD is on schedule and remains unaffected by this tragedy.’