Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday informed that the government has approved a vaccine manufacturing facility for the production of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin in Gujarat's Ankleshwar.
Hyderabad-based Bharat biotech is the only company to develop a vaccine indigenously in India and manufacture it on a large scale. It has accomplished this in a matter of 15 months, with 10 scientific publications on vaccine trials.
The government has said that the monthly vaccine production capacity of Covishield is planned to be increased from 11 crore doses to more than 12 crore doses per month and of Covaxin from 2.5 crore doses to around 5.8 crore. From January 16 to August 5, 44.42 crore doses of Covishield were supplied by Serum Institute of India and 6.82 crore doses of Covaxin by Bharat Biotech for the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
The Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology has launched 'Mission COVID Suraksha- the Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission'. The Mission is being implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of Department of Biotechnology.
Under the mission, facility augmentation of Bharat Biotech and one state public sector enterprise and two central public sector enterprises (PSEs) -- Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Mumbai; Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), Hyderabad and Bharat Immunologicals Biologicals Limited (BIBCOL), Bulandshahr -- for production of Covaxin have been supported. In addition, technology transfer of Covaxin production to Gujarat COVID Vaccine Consortium (GCVC), including Hester Biosciences and OmniBRx Biotechnologies Pvt Ltd, led by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), Department of Science and Technology, has also been facilitated.
According to Bharat Biotech, Covaxin demonstrated 77.8 per cent effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 and 65.2 per cent protection against the B.1.617.2 Delta variant.
The immunisation program against COVID-19 in India started in January with two vaccines--adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine Covishield and inactivated whole virion BBV152 -Covaxin.