As India continues to ramp up its inoculation drive, the Centre on Tuesday said monthly production capacity of Covishield is projected to be increased to more than 120 million doses and of Covaxin to around 58 million doses by December, citing information from the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya was responding to a question on the current capacity to manufacture Covaxin and Covishield in the country, and the expected capacity going forward from August to December 2021.
“As communicated by the manufacturers, the monthly vaccine production capacity of Covishield is projected to be increased from 110 million doses per month to more than 120 million doses per month and the production capacity of Covaxin is projected to be increased from 25 million doses per month to around 58 million doses per month,” the minister said in a written reply.
Further, 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 the Department of Biotechnology, the reply stated.
Under the Mission, facility augmentation of Bharat Biotech and one state public sector enterprise and 2 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) of Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat, has also been facilitated, the reply said.
Further, the Centre has also extended financial assistance to one of the domestic manufacturers for ‘At-risk manufacturing’, advance payment against the supply orders placed with Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, besides streamlining regulatory norms for approval of vaccines, the reply added.