Bharat Biotech on May 20 announced its plans to produce an additional 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin at its subsidiary facility in Ankleshwar, Gujara, taking the overall production volume of the vaccine to 1 billion (100 crore) dosages per annum. The Hyderabad-based firm said it will utilise the Ankleshwar-based production facility of its wholly-owned subsidiary Chiron Behring Vaccines to add another 200 million doses of Covaxin. The Ankleshwar-based plant would start rolling out the vaccine, which is in much demand, from the fourth quarter of 2021.
"The company plans to produce 200 million doses of Covaxin per annum in the GMP (good manufacturing practice) facilities that are already operational for the production of vaccines based on Inactivated Vero Cell Platform Technology, under stringent levels of GMP and biosafety," Bharat Biotech said in a statement. “Product availability at Ankleshwar to commence from Q4 2021,” it added.
The company said it has already deployed multiple production lines at its Hyderabad and Bengaluru campuses. "This effectively takes the volumes up to 1 billion doses per annum, with its own established campuses specialised for manufacturing inactivated viral vaccines under the highest levels of biosafety," it added.
Chiron Behring Vaccines, a 100%subsidiary of Bharat Biotech, is one of the largest manufacturers of rabies vaccines in the world, according to its parent company. “Chiron Behring Vaccines is a WHO pre-qualified manufacturer of rabies vaccines, eligible for supplies to UN agencies and has product registrations in more than 20 countries,” a release from Bharat Biotech said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India will have procured 267 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2021. In an official statement, Harsh Vardhan said that India will be in a position to vaccinate at least all of its adult population by the end of this year. He said that 51 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses will be made available by July and 216 crore more doses will be made available between August and December.