New Delhi, September 14: Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer of world's largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), said distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to every individual in the world is not possible before 2024. His remarks comes at a time when most leading vaccine developers are hopeful of releasing their "silver bullets" against the disease by 2020-end or early next year. UK Tests if COVID-19 Vaccines Can be Inhaled Instead of Being Injected for Better Results.

Poonawalla, while speaking to a leading financial daily, said the vaccine producers across the world are not showing the robust approach that is required to vaccinate all humans on this planet at the earliest. In absence of a concerted multilateral strategy, the time period for cent per cent vaccination may range from 4-5 years, he claimed.

"I know the world wants to be optimistic on it .... [but] I have not heard of anyone coming even close to that [level] right now," Poonawalla, who is based in London, told the Financial Times. He further claimed that if a two-step vaccination is required, then the world will cumulatively require nearly 15 billion doses.

Poonawalla, on being asked about the recent hurdle faced by Oxford-AstraZeneca after one of their volunteers in the United Kingdom fell ill in the trials stage, said it was not a "very normal" issue. Notably, the SII is Oxford's partner in India and will produce 1 billion doses, half of which it has pledged to use for Indian citizens.

The Serum Institute is also expected to be announced as partner of Russia's Gamaleya Institute for the localised production of Sputnik V vaccine. The authorities in Moscow claimed that India would play a crucial role in the full-scale commercial production of its vaccine candidate that is expected to begin from November.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 14, 2020 09:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website