The production of the Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, will soon begin at Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr. Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine being manufactured by Hyderabad-based biotechnology company, Bharat Biotech.
The Centre has given nod for the production of Covaxin at Bulandshar plant of Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Limited (BIBCOL). It will manufacture 2 crore doses of Covaxin every month.
BIBCOL is a PSU of the government. It was established in 1989 in Bulandshahar. It manufactures oral polio vaccines and other immunisers.
Covaxxim manufacturer Bharat Biotech and BIBCOL have signed an MoU for the production of the vaccine at Bulandshahr plant. The Ministry of Health will provide Rs 30 crore financial aid for the production of Covaxin.
BIBCOL will manufacture Covaxin with its existing spare capacity. The production will begin immediately. The company had earlier informed that it has the capabilities to manufacture Covaxin as per the government directives.
The company can manufacture 6 crore doses of polio vaccine per year with existing facilities. Besides, BIBCOL also makes Zinc Dispersible Tablets and Diarrhea Management Kits.
Notably, the government has roped in other vaccine makers to accelerate the production of vaccines in the fight against Covid-19. Earlier in April, the Centre had granted permission to Haffkine Institute, Mumbai to manufacture Covaxin on the basis of the transfer of technology.
Covaxin is currently being administered to the people in the country along with Covishield. Pune-bases Serum Institute of India is manufacturing Covishield — the local version of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Only three vaccines have been approved to be sold in India — Covaxin, Coveshield and Sputnik V. Sputnik V has been approved to be imported from Russia by Dr Reddy’s, but is yet to be widely available in the country.