US looking to jointly produce Johnson & Johnson's single-dose Covid vaccine in India, talks on with SII
The US is looking at joint production of Johnson and Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine in India and ways to help manufacturers like the Serum Institute of India (SII) to boost production, Daniel B Smith, the Charge D'Affaires of the US embassy, said on Tuesday.
Smith also said that the efficacy of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine manufactured at a production facility in Baltimore is not yet clear and the Food and Drug Administration has not yet certified that the doses are available for anyone's use or for export.
Last month, the White House said that the US plans to share 60 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine globally as soon as they become available, and India expected a significant chunk of the total stockpile.
At a media briefing, Smith said the US was concerned over the current course of the pandemic in India, not simply because of the humanitarian catastrophe but also due to the fact that it has global implications, noting that the Biden administration was standing with New Delhi to help deal with the crisis.
"I know that there are a number of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine (with the US). They were manufactured in the US. They were manufactured at a plant outside of Baltimore but there were problems with this plant. So far the Food and Drug Administration of the US has not certified that these vaccines are available for anyone's use; for export or not," he said.
"So I cannot say when that will happen or what will be done exactly as we go forward on this," Smith said when asked whether the US was going to make available the AstraZeneca vaccine doses to India on an urgent basis.