A massive fire broke out on Jan. 21 at the main plant of the Serum Institute of India (SII), located in Pune, India. The company is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and is currently producing a vaccine for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus, or COVID-19.
Officials working at the plant said that the unit making the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine, which is located some distance from the site of the fire, is safe, according to The Hindu.
Emergency services were contacted Thursday afternoon, local time, after the fire broke out on the fifth floor. According to reports from authorities, so far no casualties have been reported and at least nine people have been evacuated.
It is being investigated whether the fire originated due to a short circuit or some other factor. According to sources, construction was underway in the building to house a rotavirus vaccine in the near future.
— Amit Panday (@amitspeakshere) January 21, 2021
According to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, the Pune district administration was ordered to rush to the site to control the situation. Pawar also asked to conduct an immediate investigation into the fire.
“Efforts are on to extinguish the fire at the SII Manjri plant. All concerned agencies of the city and district administration are engaged in fire fighting and relief work,” Pawar said.
“I have received information about the fire from the Pune police commissioner and have conducted a thorough investigation into the accident,” he added, according to The Hindu.
According to The CSR Journal, India’s comptroller general of medicines has approved Phase 2 and 3 human trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate for the CCP Virus to the Serum Institute of India.
The Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine company partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine and according to a statement expects to manufacture 1 billion doses of the vaccine.
So far, several reports have commented on the anomalous effects of the vaccines manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies to combat the virus. As detailed by Bloomberg on Jan. 16, about 29 people died after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
About 42,000 people considered most at risk have been inoculated with the vaccine. According to the Norwegian Medicines Agency, most of those vaccinated suffered side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying conditions.
Meanwhile, in the United States, 55 people died after being vaccinated, according to a federal agency report. Those who were inoculated received doses provided by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.