Vaccine makers Serum Institute of India(SII) and Bharat Biotech, both of which have been granted emergency use auhtorisation(EUA) by the DCGI to roll out their vaccines against coronavirus, on Tuesday made a joint statement, pledging a smooth roll-out of vaccination drive in the country.
In a join statement, the two companies said, “Both companies respect the great work being carried out by each other and put behind us the miscommunication and misunderstanding caused during the past week. We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our Covid-19 vaccines.”
“Now that two Covid-19 vaccines have been issued EUA (emergency use authorization) in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution, such that populations that need it the most receive high quality, safe and efficacious vaccines. Both our Companies are fully engaged in this activity and consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth rollout of vaccines. Each of our Companies continue their Covid-19 vaccines development activities as planned,” it added.
The development comes as a shock to many as a day before releasing the joint statement, the two firms were loggerheads with each other.
It started when Adar Poonwalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, boasted that only three vaccines, including their Covishield, had passed all scientific evaluations and others, hinting Covaxin, were “safe like water”.
Bharat Biotech CEO Krishna Ella backfired at him on Tuesday and said their coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, was “safe like water”, while adding that they will soon release the phase 3 analysis to silence the critics.
“I had to tell this because some other company has branded my product as ‘safe like water’. Some local company in press yesterday said that safety is like water of other companies. Only three companies have done efficacy, and other vaccine is like water. I want to deny that.” He said.
Bharat Biotech has been at the centre of criticism ever since it has been granted the regulatory approval due to unavailability of phase 3 results, which is necessary to approve a vaccine for emergency use.
Notably, Serum Institute of India, world’s largest vaccine maker by volume, has collaborated with AstraZeneca and Oxford University to develop their vaccine candidate in India while Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is the one of three indigenous vaccines being developed in the country.