Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Indian scientists and pharmaceutical companies have left the Western world behind in their measures to control the virus. From Hydroxyxholoroquine to cheap and effective vaccines, India has led the global community in fighting against the virus. The problem that originated in China and spread throughout the world, is being solved on Indian soil.
A majority of the nations and big pharmaceutical companies in the West are, obviously, not happy with the fact that India is challenging their leadership in science and innovation. Therefore, the Western countries are trying to stall India’s progress on mass manufacturing of vaccines by stopping the raw material supply.
Adar Poonawala, the CEO of the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines – Serum Institute of India, said that the United States and Europe have stopped their supply of raw material and as a result, the company is not being able to ramp up the manufacturing of the vaccines.
“I wish I could go there and protest in the US myself to say that you are holding back critical raw material that are required for Covaxin and so many vaccine manufacturers in India and other parts of the world,” said Adar Poonawala on the question of why his company is unable to ramp up its manufacturing.
“That is one thing we are really struggling within the short term because we need this now. We don’t need it after six months or a year because by that time, we’d have developed other suppliers,” he added.
As of now, the company is producing 6-6.5 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines every month and looks to ramp up production to 10-11 crore doses. But, due to a lack of supply of critical raw material, the company is finding it hard to ramp up production. China is the other option for the company to get the raw material but due to quality and supply chain issues, the Indian pharmaceutical companies are avoiding imports from Beijing.
The company is working closely with the Indian government in order to ensure that every citizen of the nations gets vaccinated. “We are working with government at this stage at this price point to take care of Indians first,” said Adar Poonawalla.
The West could not take the fact that India took the lead in saving the world from the pandemic that originated in China, especially by supplying hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and COVID-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries. Because, for the first time, a nation was challenging not just their hegemony in the domain of science, but also their dominion over low and middle-income countries for the life-saving drugs.
This destroyed businesses worth billions of dollars for the big pharmaceutical companies, which, otherwise, would have been the go-to point for the vaccines and drugs for poor and middle-income countries. Moreover, India also weakened the chains of modern colonialism (by the big tech and big pharmaceutical firms) in such countries.
All this has infuriated the West and now it wants to choke India’s vaccine efforts with the halt of supplies of raw material. Although India will surely find a solution to this problem in the coming days, which highlights the vitality of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in the post-Covid world.