NEW DELHI (AP) — The chief executive of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest maker of vaccines and a critical supplier of the U.N.-backed COVAX facility, asked President Joe Biden on Twitter to lift the U.S. embargo on exporting raw materials needed to make the jabs.
Vaccine makers and experts in India have been concerned that the use of the Defense Production Act by the U.S. to boost it own vaccine production was resulting in exports of critical raw materials being stopped. This was hobbling vaccine production in other parts of the world.
Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer for Moderna, said Tuesday in an online event that export embargoes were also preventing American vaccine makers from exporting shots globally and resulting in shortages.
“If we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up,” wrote Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.
He had earlier told The Associated Press that pivoting away from suppliers in the U.S. could result in a delay of up to six months for the production of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax. Serum Institute and Novavax have inked a deal to supply 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine to COVAX to equitably distribute it across the globe.
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