Addressing the 15th edition of the India-US Bio Pharma & Healthcare Summit being organised by the US-India Chamber of Commerce, Dr Bourla also said that Pfizer has made a specific plan that the mid and low-income countries, which includes India, will receive at least two billion of such doses.
“My hope is that very soon we will finalise the approval of the product in India by the Indian health care authorities and the agreement with the government so that we can also start sending vaccines, on our side,” Bourla said. The Pfizer CEO said that a significant local manufacturing of vaccines that is happening at the Serum Institute of India will provide the “backbone of vaccinating” the Indian people.
“But getting the additional mRNA vaccines from us and also from Moderna will contribute significantly,” he said. Responding to a question from Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta hospital, Dr Bourla said that “India went through hell” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the efforts being undertaken by the Indian Government is working very well, he said. In April and May, India struggled with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new cases. Hospitals were reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
In mid-May, new coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high with 4,12,262 new infections. Pfizer, Dr Bourla said, is confident of producing three billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and another four billion by next year, making it seven billion in all.