Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (HBPCL), a Maharashtra government undertaking, is preparing for mass production of Covaxin and will have capacity to produce over 22 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine every year once the requisite facilities are in place.
The Department of Biotechnology has given permission to HBPCL for producing Covaxin under Mission Covid Suraksha. Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR.
Sandeep Rathod, Managing Director of HBPCL, told ANI that formalities of technology transfer from Bharat Biotech are being completed.
"We are completing formalities of technology transfer and they will be completed soon. We have signed the confidentiality clause with Bharat Biotech and the finalisation of MoU is under process," he said.
Rathod said bio-safety lab (BSL) for production of COVID vaccines is being established and work for establishing the facilities will take about eight months.
"We are hopeful that everything will be favourable and we will start production within our estimated time. Once the production starts, we will have a capacity for production of 2 crore doses every month. With that speed, we can work 11 months in a year and can produce 22.8 crore doses every year," he said.
"As per the required standards, a BSL-III category production unit will be needed for Covaxin production and we are in the process to establish such a lab in our premises," he added.
The HBPCL official further said that they were getting required funds for the project. The central government, he said, has given permission for production of vaccine and approved Rs 65 crore for the project and the state government is providing over Rs 93 crore for the facility.
(With ANI inputs)