How did the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, scale up production of vaccines?
In April 2020, SII’s chief executive Adar Poonawalla calculated what they would need, from vials and filters.
He explained, “I got 600 million doses worth of glass vials ahead of time and locked it in my warehouse by September. The most important part that enabled us to have so many doses – 70 to 80 million in January – was because I started manufacturing at risk in August.”
He added, “I wish other companies also had taken that risk, because the world would have had many more doses.”
Poonawalla criticised the patchwork of global regulatory systems and lack of harmonisation for production delays.
He said the major regulators, including the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration, could have united and agreed on a quality standard.