In a building of the world’s largest vaccine producer in If a great fire broke out. The Serum Institute also provides the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s corona vaccine AstraZeneca for India and other markets under the name Covishield. According to the Indian television broadcaster NDTV, it is unlikely that the fire will affect the production of the corona vaccine.
It is still unclear how big the damage is and why the fire broke out in the city of Pune on Thursday afternoon (local time), a spokesman for the local fire department told the news agency dpa. Firefighters with 15 fire engines are on duty to bring the fire under control. So far, three people have been rescued from the building.
Poor countries are India’s major customers
According to its boss Adar Poonawalla, the Serum Institute wants to produce a billion doses of corona vaccine this year. India is often today – just as it was a long time ago Germany – referred to as the »pharmacy in the world«, since around half of all vaccines worldwide are manufactured in the second most populous country in the world. Many of them go to poorer countries. For these countries, the products from India will also be of great importance, because unlike Germany and other rich countries, they could not secure many cans directly. As part of its vaccine diplomacy, India also distributes specially produced corona vaccines to other countries free of charge.
The country also needs a lot of vaccines itself and has recently started its vaccination campaign, according to India’s nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi it should be the largest in the world. Around 300 million people should be vaccinated by the summer. That’s less than a quarter of the country’s 1.3 billion people.