NEW DELHI, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Chief executive officer of India's vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), Adar Poonawalla, has said they have been served a legal notice by AstraZeneca over COVID-19 vaccine supply delays.
"Astrazeneca has sent us a legal notice (for delays in supplying the vaccine) and the Indian government is also aware of that. I cannot comment on the legal notice as it is confidential, but we are examining all avenues to amicably manage and resolve legal disputes over contractual obligations that Serum Institute is not able to fulfil due to its prioritization of Indian supplies. Everyone has been very understanding so far. The government is evaluating what it can do to resolve the issue," Poonawalla was quoted by a local daily Business Standard as having said.
SII is manufacturing AstraZeneca-Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine known as Covishield in India.
Poonawalla was also quoted by a television news channel NDTV saying SII production capacity to manufacture Covishield is "very stressed, to put it frankly", amid pressure from increasing cases in the country.
Covishield is one of the two COVID-19 vaccines being administered in India. The other being Covaxin manufactured by India's Bharat Biotech.
Poonawalla said the government's pause on major Covishield shipments to other countries and the "first claim" deal with India was difficult to explain abroad, where the vaccine was sold at a substantially higher cost per dose.
"The globe needs this vaccine and we are prioritising the needs of India at the moment and we are still short of being able to supply... to every Indian that needs it," Poonawalla said. Enditem