Facility augmentation of Bharat Biotech and three public sector enterprises is being supported for enhancing the production of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, Parliament was informed on Friday. The Department of Biotechnology has informed that the facility augmentation of Bharat Biotech and 3 public sector enterprises (PSEs) Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Indian Immunologicals Ltd; and Bharat Immunologicals Biologicals Corporation Ltd is being supported for augmented production of Covaxin, Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Chemicals & Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
This is being done under the 'Mission COVID Suraksha the Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission', he added. Further, technology transfer of Covaxin production to Gujarat COVID Vaccine Consortium comprising Hester Biosciences, OmniBRx Biotechnologies Pvt Ltd and Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre is being facilitated by the Department of Biotechnology, with a view to enhance the production of Covaxin in the coming months, Mandaviya said.
"Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has provided 100 per cent advance to domestic vaccine manufacturers in respect of procurement order placed with them. These funds can be used by such manufacturers for their capacity augmentation," he added. The government has also provided financial assistance to one of the vaccine manufacturer, Biological E, for 'At-risk manufacturing' of COVID-19 vaccine, the minister said.
Further, the Central Drug Standards and Control Organisation (CDSCO) has put in place a system for fast track processing of applications for clinical trial and approval for COVID-19 vaccines, he added. The government is also providing 15-day advance visibility of vaccine availability to states/UTs with advice to prepare and publicise in advance district-wise and COVID-19 vaccination centres wise (CVCs) plan, Mandaviya said.
It is expected that adequate quantities of COVID-19 vaccine will be available between January 2021 and December 2021, to vaccinate eligible beneficiaries aged 18 years and above, he added.
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)