Updated May 20th, 2021 at 22:29 IST
Bharat Biotech to set up COVAXIN plant in Gujarat, sets 1 billion doses per annum target
Bharat Biotech on Thursday has announced the setting up of an additional manufacturing unit of COVAXIN in Gujarat to boost the production of its COVID vaccine
In addition to the existing Hyderabad plant and the Bengaluru plant in process, Bharat Biotech on Thursday has announced the setting up of an additional manufacturing unit of COVAXIN in Gujarat to boost the production of its COVID-19 vaccines. The Hyderabad-based pharma firm informed that COVAXIN will now be manufactured by Chiron Behring Vaccines, Ankleshwar, Gujarat, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharat Biotech. It has set an aim to produce 200 million doses of COVAXIN within a year, with the vaccine availability at the Ankleshwar facility to commence from the fourth Quarter of 2021.
With the addition of a manufacturing plant in Gujarat, Bharat Biotech has now ramped up the production of COVAXIN to 1 billion doses per annum, in its own established campuses.
"The company plans to produce 200 million doses of COVAXIN®️ per annum in the GMP facilities that are already operational for the production of vaccines based on Inactivated Vero Cell Platform Technology, under stringent levels of GMP and biosafety. Product availability at Ankleshwar to commence from Q4 2021," Bharat Biotech said in a statement.
Bharat Biotech announces the quick ramp-up of additional manufacturing capacities for COVAXIN at Chiron Behring Vaccines, Ankleshwar, Gujarat, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharat Biotech.#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/TnIkbzghGv— ANI (@ANI) May 20, 2021
Centre's big push to COVAXIN production
Last week, the Centre announced an additional financial grant of Rs 65 crore to aid Bharat Biotech's new Bangalore facility. Setting clear targets, the Department of Biotechnology has said that the current production capacity of COVAXIN, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and ICMR, will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased to nearly 6-7 fold by August 2021. Providing numerical figures for context, the Union Ministry has said that the production of COVAXIN vials will be increased from the existing 1 crore doses in April to 6-7 crore doses in July and reach nearly 10 crore (100 million) doses per month by September this year.
Apart from the three existing Bharat Biotech plants, Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, based in Mumbai, which is a state PSE under the Government of Maharashtra, has also been aided by the Union Government to produce COVAXIN. The Centre has informed that it will provide a financial grant to the tune of Rs 65 crore for the Haffkine facility to be made ready for manufacturing. The Central government has asked the institute to expedite and complete the task of setting up the unit within six months rather than the 12 months the manufacturer had sought. The unit is expected to have a production capacity of 20 million doses per month, once functional.
The Centre has also extended support to Indian Immunologicals Limited, based in Hyderabad, to prepare a facility to provide nearly 10-15 million dozes of COVAXIN per month by August-September 2021. To put things into perspective, up till Tuesday, India had administered just over 17 crore (170 million) vaccine doses overall.
COVAXIN manufacturing locations in India now:
Bharat Biotech plant at Hyderabad
Bharat Biotech plant at Bengaluru
Bharat Biotech plant at Ankleshwar, Gujarat
Haffkine Biopharma Corporation, Mumbai
India To Get Vaccinations On-demand By August
As per sources, from August, the citizens of the country would not have to register in advance or stand in long queues, and would simply be able to go and get vaccinated. This is on account of the country aiming to have 8-10 vaccine companies at its disposal by August and to manufacture over 300 crore vaccine doses by the end of the year, a figure that is double the country population.
Published May 20th, 2021 at 21:38 IST