Fire breaks out at vaccine manufacturing facility in India, killing 5

A large fire broke out at the Serum Institute of India, a biotechnology and pharmaceuticals company and the world’s biggest vaccine maker, Thursday. Four people were evacuated, but five others are reported to have allegedly died.

The Serum Institute of India, headquartered in the city of Pune, some 150 kilometers southeast of Mumbai, said the fire will not affect their production of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot, branded ‘COVISHIELD.’ The Serum Institute of India is producing around 50 million doses a month of the AstraZeneca vaccine at other facilities in the complex.

Bangladesh, Nepal, the Maldives and Bhutan already receive the COVISHIELD vaccine. The Maharashtra state government in India said the fire could have been caused by an electrical fault.

On Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of the Serum Institute of India tweeted, “We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed.”

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