Amid deteriorating Covid-19 situation in the country, the Centre has granted permission to Haffkine Institute, Mumbai to manufacture Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin. The state-run biomedical research institute will manufacture the drug on the basis of transfer of technology.
"The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has granted approval to Haffkine Institute to produce Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine on a transfer of technology basis," the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office tweeted.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing Haffkine Institute to manufacture Covaxin. "CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has thanked Prime Minister for approving this request," the tweet added.
Thackeray had earlier petitioned the Centre to allow the Haffkine Institute to produce Covaxin. Covaxin is currently being produced by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.
Covaxin is one of the two drugs that is being currently administered to Indians. Manufactured by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology, it uses an inactivated virus. It is developed by chemically treating novel coronavirus samples to make them incapable of reproduction.
Covaxin is given as two doses four weeks apart. The therapeutic can be stored between 2-8 degrees Celsius. Preliminary data from its phase 3 trial shows the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 81 per cent.
The second vaccine that is being used for inoculation is Covishield, co-developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca. The vaccine uses a viral vector, an engineered version of adenoviruses that infect chimpanzees to carry the gene responsible for the spike protein of the novel coronavirus.
India has just granted permission for the restricted emergency use of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Sputnik V has shown 91.6 per cent efficacy in the phase 3 trial without any major serious side effects.