10 Cr Covaxin Doses Per Month by Sept, 3 More Labs Roped in: Govt Steps Up Efforts to Contain Shortfall

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The Department of Biotechnology on Friday said production of indigenous Covid-19 vaccines Covaxin will be ramped up to reach nearly 10 crore doses per month by September as the government has roped in three public sector firms to increase its production capacity.

The department said under the decision under its Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission Covid Suraksha programme was announced two weeks after inter-ministerial teams had visited the sites of two main vaccine manufacturers to get their inputs on how production can be ramped up. In this period, extensive reviews and feasibility studies were discussed with vaccine manufacturers.

As a part of the augmentation plan, the capacities of Bharat Biotech Limited, Hyderabad as well as other public sector manufacturers are being upgraded with the required infrastructure and technology. Financial support is being provided as a grant from GoI to the tune of appx Rs 65 crore to Bharat Biotech's new Bangalore facility which is being repurposed to increase the capacity of vaccine production, the statement said.

The current production capacity of indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine will be doubled by May-June and then increased nearly 6-7 fold by July – August 2021 i.e increasing the production from 1 crore vaccine doses in April, 2021 to 6-7 crore vaccine dose/month in July – August, the DBT said.

The three companies: Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Mumbai, Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), Hyderabad and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited (BIBCOL) have been roped to increase vaccine capacities.

Three Public Sector Companies

Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Mumbai is a state PSE under the Maharashtra government. The central government will provide financial assistance of Rs 65 crore for this facility to be made ready for manufacturing. The Haffkine Biopharmaceuticals Ltd had asked for around 12 months to complete this task. However, the Central government has asked them to expedite and complete the task urgently within 6 months. Once functional, the facility will have a capacity of 20 million doses per month.

Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), Hyderabad, a facility under the National Dairy Development Board as well as the Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited (BIBCOL), Bulandshahr a CPSE under Department of Biotechnology, will also be supported to prepare facilities to provide 10-15 million doses per month by August-September.

India has so far cumulatively administered over 11.72 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

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