As India’s Serum Institutes pledges an increased local focus, it is unclear how Morocco’s vaccine rollout plan will be affected.
Rabat — The Serum Institute of India, Morocco’s supplier of the British-developed AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, has been directed to prioritize Indian vaccine demand, according to a recent statement from the company’s CEO.
“Dear countries & governments, as you await #COVISHIELD supplies, I humbly request you to please be patient,” Adar Poonwala, who has run the Serum Institute since 2011, wrote in a Monday tweet. “@SerumInstIndia has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world. We are trying our best.”
India’s Pune-based Serum Institute is the world’s largest vaccine producer and has manufactured six million of the total seven million vaccine doses procured by Morocco to date. Morocco has an additional 20 million doses on backorder from the provider.
It is still unclear whether the Serum Institute’s local focus will affect Morocco’s vaccine rollout plan — largely reliant on the India-produced vaccine — going forward. The Moroccan government, which has administered over 2.5 million vaccine doses to date, hopes to vaccinate 80% of Moroccans to achieve herd immunity.
The announcement comes amid concerns over the efficacy of India’s ongoing coronavirus response plan. The country boasts the second greatest number of COVID cases in the world, after the United States, and recently recorded its highest single-day case increase since mid-November.
India has reported 11 million COVID-19 cases to date and over 150,000 deaths.