Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's biggest vaccine maker, said on Friday it shipped the first batch of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, branded as Covishield, to the COVAX vaccine-sharing programme after an eight-month hiatus, reports Reuters.
India in March put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot made by the family-run firm in order to inoculate its own citizens as the country struggled to manage a devastating surge of COVID-19 cases.
The resumption of exports was linked to SII surpassing its original target to produce 1 billion doses of Covishield by the end of the year, the company said, adding that the total number of vaccine doses produced have crossed 1.25 billion.
SII said its supply of doses via COVAX was expected to increase substantially into the first quarter of 2022.
To boost its COVID-19 vaccine output further, SII will bring into production other vaccines under licence, including COVOVAX, from US-based Novavax.