The additional doses would be produced at Bharat Biotech’s subsidiary unit based in Gujarat’s Ankleshwar. The ramping up of manufacturing capacity would effectively scale up the annual production to an estimated one billion doses, the company said.
Covaxin (Representative image)
Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech Limited on May 20 announced a ramp up of the manufacturing capacity for its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, with 200 million additional doses to be produced at its subsidiary unit based in Gujarat.
The statement issued by the company claimed that the production capacity has been increased at Chiron Behring Vaccines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharat Biotech located in Gujarat’s Ankleshwar.
“The company plans to produce 200 million doses of Covaxin per annum in the GMP facilities that are already operational for the production of vaccines based on inactivated vero cell platform technology,” it added.
The production availability at the Ankleshwar-based manufacturing plant will commence from fourth quarter of 2021, Bharat Biotech claimed.
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Apart from the Chiron Behring plant in Ankleshwar, Covaxin is also being produced at the campuses of Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Bengaluru – where the company has already deployed multiple production lines to increase the output.
The ramping up of production at Ankleshwar unit “effectively takes the volumes” up to an estimated one billion doses per annum, the company said.
Notably, Bharat Biotech along with Serum Institute of India – producer of Covishield – are the two major contributors to India’s current vaccine pool. The supplies of Sputnik V vaccine from Russia have begun, and is expected to be commercially launched in June.
Dr VK Paul, member (health) of Centre’s top think tank Niti Aayog, said on May 14 that over 2 billion doses of vaccines would be available by the year-end.
The estimated stock would comprise of 550 million Covaxin doses, which would be made available by Bharat Biotech between August and December, he said. In the same period, 750 million doses of Covishield vaccine are expected to be made available, Paul added.