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Covaxin production capacity to be doubled by May-June: Centre

The current production capacity of indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased nearly 6-7 fold by July-August 2021, the government announced on Friday as

The current production capacity of indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased nearly 6-7 fold by July-August 2021, the government announced on Friday as the country is witnessing a record surge in COVID-19 infections in past some weeks.

In an effort to accelerate the development and production of indigenous COVID-19 vaccines, under the mission, the government will provide financial support as Grant to vaccine manufacturing facilities for enhanced production capacities.

Under the Mission, the Department of Biotechnology is providing financial support as Grant to vaccine manufacturing facilities for enhanced production capacities.

“The current production capacity of indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased nearly 6-7 fold by July – August 2021, read the release by Ministry of Science & Technology.

The ministry further informed that production will be increased from one crore vaccine doses in April 2021 to 6-7 crore vaccine dose/month in July – August, and it is expected to reach nearly 10 crore doses per month by September this year.

Three public sector companies are being supported to increase the capacity of vaccine production – Bharat Biotech’s new Bangalore facility, Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd in Mumbai – a State PSE (Public Sector Enterprise) under the Maharashtra government, and Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), Hyderabad -A facility under National Dairy Development Board and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited (BIBCOL).

Financial support is being provided to the tune of approximately Rs 65 crores to Bharat Biotech’s new Bangalore facility which is being repurposed to increase the capacity of vaccine production, read the release.

Financial support as a grant from the Government of India to the tune of approximately Rs 65 crore will be provided to The Haffkine Biopharmaceuticals Ltd to be made ready for manufacturing. It 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. The facility will have a capacity of 20 million dozes per month, once functional.

“The Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) in Hyderabad will also be supported to prepare their facility to provide 10-15 million doses per month by Aug – Sep 2021,” the statement added.
It further said, “A few weeks back, Inter-ministerial teams had visited the sites of two main vaccine manufacturers in India to get their inputs on how production can be ramped up. In this period, there have been extensive reviews and feasibility studies on the plans being discussed with vaccine manufacturers.”

This comes amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic being witnessed across the country. Over the last few weeks, COVID-19 cases in India have soared, surpassing Brazil in terms of active cases. The highest-ever single-day spike in COVID-19 cases was reported in the last 24 hours, with 2,17,353 new cases and more than 1,100 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the union health ministry.

As per the provisional report till 7 am on Friday, cumulatively, 11,72,23,509 vaccine doses have been administered through 17,37,539 sessions. (ANI)

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First Published: 16th April, 2021 20:39 IST

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