Vaccines developed in Hyderabad were previously being sent to Himachal Pradesh for testing, resulting in delays in production.

A health worker prepares a dose of the Sputnik COVID vaccine to administer to a beneficiary in MumbaiImage for representation/PTI
news COVID-19 Vaccine Sunday, August 22, 2021 - 09:05

The National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) has been upgraded as the Central Drugs Laboratory for COVID-19 vaccine testing facility at Hyderabad, the Department of Biotechnology said on Saturday, August 21.  The DBT said the Union government has identified NIAB, Hyderabad and National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, for upgrading as central drug laboratories. "With support from PM CARES funds, the laboratory of the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), has been upgraded as Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) for COVID-19 vaccine testing facility at Hyderabad,” the DBT said. 

"The facility at NIAB, Hyderabad, has now been notified as Central Drugs Laboratory for testing and release of COVID-19 vaccines vide. Gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on August 17," it added. The facility at the NCCS, Pune was already notified as Central Drugs Laboratory on June 28. The two facilities are expected to test approximately 60 batches of vaccines per month.

Considering that the facilities are located in proximity to the country's vaccine manufacturing hubs Pune and Hyderabad, logistics for vaccine manufacturing and supply are expected to be eased up. Telangana Industries Minister KT Rama Rao had written to the Union government on multiple occasions, demanding the establishment of a vaccine testing and certification laboratory in Hyderabad. With vaccines developed in Hyderabad being sent for testing all the way to  the Central Drug Laboratory in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh for testing, he said that 30 to 45 days were being wasted. He had said that having a vaccine testing laboratory in Hyderabad could boost vaccine production by 8 to 10 crore additional doses every month. 

"The generous support through PM-CARES Funds and the relentless efforts of the two institutes enabled the rapid up-gradation and setting up of the state-of-the-art, modern GLP compliant vaccine testing facilities and contribute to the national requirement. This would further strengthen the vaccine supply chain and boost the massive vaccination drive in India," the DBT added.

Read: Hypertension, diabetes more prevalent in Andhra and Telangana, study finds

With PTI inputs 

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