With India facing shortage of indigenously made covid-19 vaccines, Bharat Biotech has stepped up in its bid to help the country ramp up its vaccine production. NITI Aayog member, Dr VK Paul, during a press conference said, “People say that Covaxin should be given to other companies for manufacturing. I am happy to say that Bharat Biotech has welcomed this when we discussed it with them.”
He further emphasised that the vaccine can only be manufactured in the Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) lab since it is made by inactivating a live virus and BSL3 laboratory is where the environment is the most favourable. Bharat Biotech has been producing Covaxin at its facilities in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. “It is not something that every company has. We give an open invitation and we have already reached out form our side to make it together,” Paul added.
“It is not something that every company has. We give an open invitation and we have already reached out form our side to make it together,” Paul added.
While Bharat Biotech has given its permission to other companies for the manufacturing of Covaxin, the government is said to be providing its full assistance to accelerate the process. So far, two Central Government PSUs – Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) and BIBCOL have joined hands with Bharat Biotech for technology transfer. In addition to them, Haffkine Institute too has entered into an agreement with the biotechnology company.
According to a statement by the Health Ministry, IIL will start its production of Covaxin from September 2021, while Haffkine Institute and BIBCOL will start theirs from November 2021. Meanwhile, the government is in talks with Bharat Biotech and other PSUs and private companies for the execution of more such technology transfer agreements to enhance the production of Covaxin across the country.