This man karan Thapar hates modi. He is intelligent enough to understand that SII vaccine is a contract between Poona wala and those who funded him and the company whose research the SII is using. Nothing was freely distributed. Because the vaccine is not indegenously developed, SII has contractual obligations to fulfill with regard to exports. Export is mostly by Serum Institute, Poona. The Oxford-AstraZeneca gave Covishield vaccine to India under manufacture by Serum Institute on the condition that 300 million doses (for 150 million persons with 2 doses) the rest of 700 million doses were meant for less developed countries in 2021.
India tried to break this International contract but ultimately had to agree. Serum is giving the prices at a loss in spite of the fact when they requested the Government help in expanding their output of vaccines, the Government did not give a single paise.
For Bharat Biotech though, there is no such obligations. They can opt to not export it. In summary, government does not have any say in the exports, as government has not really ploughed in any money into vaccine development in India. SII’s vaccine was developed with Oxford-AstraZeneca’s money, and they will not tolerate government interference in the supply chain. For political reasons, government can say, it is vaccine diplomacy et al, but the fact is that vaccine contracts are made between XYZ country and manufacturers. government does provide some grants for a small amount of vaccines for exporting to other countries, but that is just a small number. We can arm twist these countries to thank us for providing vaccines, desoite them paying the companies. These are all politics. Had the government opted to fund the development at least partially, then it should have made sense for them to enforce a ban on exports. AstraZeneca is already flexing its arms with SII because of delay in supply of vaccines. So, they have to fall in line.
US, on the other hand, has funded vaccine development of many pharma giants, so they have a say in making vaccines availability. In India, unfortunately, research is not a culture. We are more of copy cats. May be, after going through a pandemic like this, government will realize importance of having a strong scientific community, and invest in them.