The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya yesterday launched the first batch of Covaxin from its Chiron Behring Vaccines facility in Ankleshwar, Gujarat in the presence of Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director and Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, the company notified in a statement.
The statement also said that the company has already deployed multiple production lines at its Hyderabad, Malur, Bengaluru and Pune campuses, and the addition of Chiron Behring, Ankleshwar will further augment Covaxin’s production capacity. A new filing facility constructed during 2020 is now being utilised for the production of the vaccine. The Covaxin production had begun in early June, before which the team had executed engineering batches to study the equipment functionality at the facility. Chiron Behring Vaccines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharat Biotech.
Speaking on the occasion, Mandaviya said, “India is focussed on slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the country, and the key to achieving this lies in the swift and efficient administration of vaccines. We want to ensure equitable access of the vaccine to every Indian citizen, and the expansion of Covaxin production facilities by Bharat Biotech will take us closer to this goal.”
Adding to it, Dr Krishna Ella said, “We want to ensure that Bharat Biotech can ably meet the demand for Covaxin such that individuals across the country, and the globe, have access to the vaccine and can secure their health and safety. Our goal to develop a vaccine with global safety and efficacy standards has now been achieved, we are now marching towards the goal of annualised capacity of ~ one billion doses.”
Bharat Biotech is also exploring manufacturing partnerships with its partners in other countries, who have prior expertise with commercial-scale manufacturing of inactivated viral vaccines under biosafety containment for further augmentation.