World’s largest vaccine maker is considering opening an African factory

world's largest vaccine maker is considering opening an african factory
world’s largest vaccine maker is considering opening an african factory

The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is considering establishing its first manufacturing unit in Africa, its CEO told says on Monday, as it seeks to grow globally following the success of its COVID-19 vaccine sales.

During the worst parts of the epidemic over the past two years, Africa was the only continent without its own manufacturing capacity for COVID shots, leaving it at the mercy of international suppliers, including the SII.

“There has never been a better time to produce vaccines. I am considering expanding our manufacturing globally “Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, stated during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

South Africa and Rwanda, to mention a few of the countries we’re considering, are among the best in the world.

Poonawalla stated that he was meeting with African authorities to discuss his plans in Davos. When asked about potential investments, he stated that such endeavours normally cost at least $300 million.

He did not specify what products a plant in Africa might produce. In addition to COVID vaccinations, the Indian plants of the SII produce vaccines for diphtheria, BCG, measles, rubella, and other illnesses.

When asked about worries on the increase in monkeypox cases, Poonawalla stated that the disease was not as contagious as feared.

Even if we want to create a vaccine for it, we’ll wait and see, he said.

Monkeypox is often a mild disease that is endemic to portions of west and central Africa. The World Health Organization expects to detect more instances when surveillance is expanded in nations where the disease is uncommon.

Regarding COVID, the SII has sold over 1.5 billion doses of the AstraZeneca injection Covishield in India and exported millions more.

Poonawalla stated that the company might begin production if the necessity arose, despite the fact that its Indian Covishield facilities had been placed on standby and nothing will be produced there.

The SII has also abandoned a proposal to manufacture and market around 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik Light COVID vaccine. Poonawalla stated that the company is still producing millions of doses of a variant of the Novavax COVID vaccine for India and other nations.

He estimated the current value of privately held SII to be approximately $20 billion, but said there were no urgent plans to go public.

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