PH partner of Indian vaccine maker says production not affected in plant fire

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 22) – The Philippine partner of the Serum Institute of India assured COVID-19 vaccine production would not be affected by the fire that engulfed one of the vaccine maker’s plants in Pune, India on Thursday.

SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is the maker of the COVID-19 vaccine Covovax.

Dr. Luningning Villa, medical director of Faberco Life Sciences Inc., said the plant for the Rotavirus vaccine was the one affected by the blaze.

“We would like to assure the public that the manufacturing sites for COVID-19 vaccines are safe and not affected. The plants are situated in another location and the production remains uninterrupted and unhampered,” said Villa in a statement. “COVID-19 vaccines are on target as scheduled.”

Villa offered their prayers for the SII workers affected by the fire.

Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said there were five fatalities in the incident. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

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The Philippine government signed a deal with SII last Jan. 10 to acquire 30 million doses of Covovax vaccine, which are expected to be available in the country by the third quarter of this year.

SII teamed up with United States-based biotechnology company Novavax in the development and commercialization of the Covovax vaccine.