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major Indian vaccine manufacturer was forced to toss out 100 million expired booster doses of its COVID-19 shots due to unexpectedly low jab uptake.
Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine producer, has been making India’s version of AstraZeneca’s mRNA COVID shot. While roughly 298 million doses of the booster shots have been administered in India since the initial rollout, another 100 million doses in stock expired in September and had to be destroyed, the BBC reportedFriday.
The Indian government had attempted to offload the shots in July by launching a marketing campaign to provide free booster shots to adults for 75 days to mark India’s 75 years of independence. However, the effort failed to generate sufficient uptake.
On Thursday, SII CEO Adar Poonwalla told reporters his company had stopped making COVID-19 shots in December of last year due to a major shortfall in public interest.
Though India has administered two billion total doses of the shots, according to Poonwalla, there is no demand for the company’s booster shots “as people now seem fed up with Covid.”
“Honestly, I’m also fed up,” he said. “We all are.”