On Wednesday, the central government took steps to accelerate the production of vaccines so that the eligible beneficiaries can be vaccinated at the earliest. Hence, under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission 'Covid Suraksha', three public enterprises are being supported to boost vaccine production. These enterprises include Mumbai's Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Limited, Hyderabad's Indian Immunologicals Limited and UP's Bharat Immunologicals & Biologicals Limited.
Haffkine to produce 22.8 crore doses yearly
Haffkine Institute is a 122-year-old biomedical research facility named after Russian bacteriologist, Dr. Waldemar Haffkine, who invented the plague vaccine. Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd is its offshoot, which has been given the task of producing Covaxin- a vaccine effective against covid.
Revamping domestic vaccine production, Mumbai-based Haffkine Biopharma will produce 22.8 crore vials per annum. This boost in production will be possible due to the technology transfer agreement with Hyderabad's Bharat Biotech and production will take place in the company's Parel complex. Further, a timeline of 8 months has been granted to comply with this order.
Vaccine production involves two stages, drug substance and final drug product and Haffkine needs to build a Bio Safety Level 3 (BSL 3) facility, to manufacture the drug substance. Hence, for the entire task of manufacturing vaccines, the central government has already provided Haffkine with a grant of ₹65 crores which is supplemented by ₹94 crores, issued by the state.
Why involve PSUs in vax production?
As per reports, Secretary Department of Biotechnology and Chairperson BIRAC stated- "Enhancing vaccine production capacity using Public sectors assets will go a long way in building production capacity of vaccines in our country to support the massive vaccination drive."