The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Friday questioned the Central government why Covaxin, the vaccine against COVID-19 which was developed with the assistance of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV), has been manufactured only at a private institute.
The court asked the Centre to explain the amount incurred by the government to procure COVID vaccines and what steps have been taken to revive the vaccine institutes.
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court was also hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to manufacture Covaxin in the Chengalpet HLL unit.
Covaxin is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. It is one of the two vaccines against COVID-19 being manufactured in India currently.
Besides Covaxin, India approved the emergency use authorisation for two other vaccines Covishield and Sputnik V for its inoculation program against COVID-19.
The Centre has liberalised the vaccination drive for phase three and allowed states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Hearing another PIL seeking to operate the oxygen plant in the Trichy BHEL plant, the court sought a reply from the Centre whether 140MT of oxygen can be produced every hour at the plant as mentioned in the petition.
(With ANI inputs)