HLL Lifecare Limited to Procure Oxford Vaccine on Behalf of Centre. Here's More About the Company

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Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Centre will be the single agency for all vaccine purchases, sources told News18 that the HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, will be procuring the vials on behalf of the government.

The company had already issued the supply order on behalf of the Union Health Ministry in the name of Prakash Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India (SII), news agency PTI reported.

India had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines, Oxford's Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute in India and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both vaccines, according to a statement from the Health Ministry, have established safety and immunogenicity.

The country is set to launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world's largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

What is HLL Lifecare Limited?

The company started off as a manufacturer of natural rubber latex condoms with government's first National Family Planning programme in 1950s. Over the years HLL Lifecare grew to diversify into a healthcare major, with emphasis on healthcare services.

"Kerala being abundant in rubber came as a natural choice for setting up the facility and 01 March 1966 saw the incorporation of Hindustan Latex Limited under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The foundation stone for the maiden manufacturing plant, with a production capacity of 144 Million pieces, was laid at Peroorkada in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala on 14th January 1967. HLL commenced commercial production on 5th April 1969 in technical collaboration with Okamoto Industries of Japan. The year 1976 witnessed the first phase development with an increase in the production capacity to 288 million pieces a year," the company says on its website.

To meet the growing needs of Condoms for the national family planning programme, the company expanded its production units in Trivandrum and to Belgaum, Karnataka in 1985.

Having set sights on the premium-end of the market, HLL developed its commercial brand MOODS two years later. The ‘MOODS Please’ campaign, the first ever advertising campaign for MOODS succeeded in making this evocative name synonymous with the product.

In 1991, HLL was recognised as an MOU-signing Central Public Sector Undertaking by the Government of India. In 1992, HLL forayed into hospital products by adding a facility to manufacture Medigard surgical and examination gloves at Peroorkada Factory Thiruvananthapuram (PFT), followed by the commissioning of the plant for formulation of Mala-D Oral pills at Kanagala Factory Belgaum (KFB) in 1993.

Today, HLL is the only company in the world that offers anything and everything in birth control solutions. Besides birth control products, its product range encompasses Hospital products, Pharmaceuticals, Ayurvedic, Vaccines, Personal hygiene and Diagnostic kits, the company mentions on its website