200 million covid jabs stockpiled – production stopped

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Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and a key supplier of Covid-19 inoculations to developing countries, has stopped making fresh batches of shots after its stockpile grew to 200 million doses amid a global supply glut.

“We have got 200 million doses of stock. We had to shut down production in December,” Serum’s chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla said at the India Economic Conclave organized by Times Network on Friday, saying he was worried about wastage if the shots expired. “I have even offered to give free donations to whoever wanted to take it.”

Serum’s predicament underscores the vaccine oversupply that has crept up across a world once desperate for immunization against the coronavirus. Vaccine makers invested in massive production capacity over the past year and some of that has come online only after most countries covered much of their populations with two doses.

The global adjustment to living with the virus – with the exception of Covid Zero-practising China and Hong Kong – has also diluted the urgency for booster shots. 

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