THD NewsDesk, Maharashtra: The Central government gave assent to Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited to produce Covaxin, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech. This news comes amidst the major crisis of vaccine shortage during this deadly second wave of the Covid 19 Pandemic. Maharashtra government has approved the project and have also decided to fund the project by granting it 94 crores out of 154 crores.
Officials said, the decision was taken in the state cabinet meeting The funds for the project will be given from the state contingency fund.
Moreover, the Central government too has approved ₹65 crores for the project under Covid Suraksha Yojana.
In a statement released by the Cheif minister, said
“With the help of the ministry of science and technology, a project is going to be set up by Haffkine Bio Pharmaceuticals Corporation Limited at Parel in Mumbai for manufacturing Covaxin in collaboration with Bharat Biotech that has developed the first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine in the country. The state government will provide ₹94 crore for setting up the plant from the state contingency fund.”
Dr Sandeep Rathod, managing director Haffkine Institute said,
“With all the permissions in place, we will now start construction activity, get validations and take further steps according to our plans.”
Haffkine Corporation has already sought permission for the transfer of technology from Bharat Biotech in January, which was approved by the department of biotechnology of the Union ministry of science and technology on April 15.
Haffkine will be producing (228 million ( 22.8 crore) doses of the Covaxin vaccine in a year. The stock will be in addition to what other private firms will be producing in the country. It will take at least a year for setting up the project as is now required to develop a Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory that is going to be developed at its Parel premises.
Haffkine Corporation is a subsidiary of Haffkine Institute for Training, Research and Testing, owned by the state government.
Dr Rathod added,
“The manufacturing of the vaccine will be done in two phases — manufacturing of raw material which we called as drug substance and then fill and finish of the product. With the technology in place, we will be manufacturing the drug substance at our BSL -3 laboratory and as part of the next step the vaccine will be filled in bottles and the product will be finished.”
Saurabh Vijay, secretary, medical education department said that the state has also encouraged Haffkine Corporation to raise dialogues with the other manufacturing companies because the more the merrier.
Mr Vijay said,
“The state government has allowed the corporation to sign a privacy agreement with Bharat Biotech for manufacturing vaccine doses. It has also been allowed to hold talks with other firms manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine for expanding its production.”
He informed that the plant will be used for producing other vaccines once the need for producing Covid-19 vaccine is over.
It is the eleventh hour for the country and it is in urgent need of vaccines to fight back this deadly pandemic. This initiative will help ramp up production and make mass availability more easier and sooner hopefully.
Source: Hindustan Times