A spokesperson representing the Government of UK told Reuters that they have placed an order of 10 million doses of the Oxford-developed AstraZeneca Vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII), a Pune-based Private Limited company which is currently the world’s largest producer of vaccines by volume.
The government official also added that the total amount of vaccine doses that have been ordered by the UK is 100 million out of which 10 million are from the Serum Institute of India.
SII was mass-producing these vaccines with its sales targeted towards poor and middle-income countries and many of these nations like Bangladesh, Mauritius, Brazil depend on the vaccine producer to maintain their special prices. This move by the United Kingdom, which is a wealthy nation is expected to be seen critically as Western nations go on to procure these vaccines at the expense of poorer nations.
The UK Government, according to NDTV, said that this order does not break the SII’s commitment towards providing vaccines to poor countries.
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is Britain’s drug regulator, is nearly done with its report on the Serum Institute of India’s manufacturing processes (which it had been auditing in February) and it is expected the SII-produced vaccine will soon be authorized for use in the UK.