3 more facilities to produce kovaxine.
The production of indigenously developed kovaxine vaccine will double by May-June and then increase approximately 6-7 times by July-August 2021. Bharat Biotech now produces 10 million doses a month. By September, the Department of Biotechnology said that production could reach around Rs 10 crore.
DBT has funded three state-run facilities – Hefkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Limited, Mumbai; Indian Immunological Limited, Hyderabad and Biological Limited, Bulandshahr – for making vaccines. Huffine has been given 65 million, but being able to produce the vaccine will take anywhere between 6–12 months; The other two facilities are expected to start producing 10–15 million doses a month by August.
The mainstay of increasing production will be Bharat Biotech which is in the process of expanding its Bangalore manufacturing facility.
“It is a big challenge to enable a manufacturing facility to deliver 100 million doses a month,” said Renu Swaroop, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology. Hindu “But we have asked all companies to speed up.”
“Halffine did not have the facility to handle live viruses immediately and would therefore take time,” Ms Swaroop said. “We do not know how long COVID will last but there may be other needs in the future. Now they are investing for the future.
“Inter-ministerial teams had visited the sites of vaccine manufacturers in India to get their input on how production could be increased. During this period, there have been extensive reviews and feasibility studies on the plans being discussed with the vaccine manufacturers, ”DBT’s press statement noted.
On Friday, India delivered a dose of 5.2 million vaccines, with more than 6.3 million doses from its peak of April 5. India has administered 111 million doses so far, making it the third largest inoculator in the world. However, it has covered only 7% of India’s population, with only 1.1% being completely inactive.