84% of doses sent abroad are licensing liabilities of Bharat Biotech, SII: Centre
New Delhi: Hitting back at the Congress and the AAP over allegations against India’s Covid-19 vaccination, the BJP on Wednesday said over 84 per cent of the vaccine doses sent abroad were part of the commercial and licensing liabilities of the two Indian manufacturers.
The BJP said vaccine manufacturers — SII and Bharat Biotech — sent vaccine doses abroad also because of the agreement they had signed to procure raw materials for preparing the jabs.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said 1.07 crore vaccine doses sent abroad were India’s aid to different countries and noted that of those, 78.5 lakh were dispatched to seven neighbouring countries. “A safer neighbourhood is good for India too,” said the BJP leader and also informed that more than two lakh doses were given to the UN peace-keeping force, in which over 6,600 Indian soldiers are deployed.
He also attacked Congress' Rahul Gandhi and the AAP for spreading misinformation that the Modi government has exported over 6.63 crore vaccine doses abroad, while not using those to inoculate Indians.
Noting that the intellectual property rights over Covishield, manufactured in the country by the Serum Institute of India (SII), are with Astrazeneca, a foreign firm, he said the SII was obliged to send a part of the vaccines produced by it abroad.
“This misinformation is being spread that Indians were ignored and vaccines were sent abroad. In this global era, no country can exist as an island and there has to be cooperative globalisation," said the BJP leader.
With Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking the Centre to share the vaccine formula of the two Indian manufacturers with other capable pharmaceutical companies to scale up production in the country, Mr Patra said the SII cannot do it because it has only been given the sub-license by Astrazeneca, which has the intellectual property rights over it.
The vaccine indigenously prepared by Bharat Biotech requires a high level of bio-safety, which only a few firms are capable of preparing, and the Centre is holding talks with them, including some public sector undertakings (PSUs), to scale up its production, he added.