Centre allows Haffkine to start Covaxin production
In a major development, the Central government has given permission to the state-owned Haffkine Bio Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited to start production of Covaxin, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech.
The permission was granted by Renu Swarup, secretary, department of biotechnology of ministry of science and technology, the chief minister’s office confirmed. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he personally requested the PM to look into the matter in one of his virtual meetings.
The permission has been granted on a request from the Haffkine Institute for transfer of technology from Bharat Biotech to producing the vaccine. This will be done by setting up a new plant for manufacturing Covid vaccine in collaboration with Bharat Biotech with an estimated cost of Rs154 crore.
“The permission has been granted on the recommendations made by the expert committee. The Centre has given a year time to start the production. It has asked to constitute a team of senior technical experts from Haffkine Institute to complete the task at the earliest. The Centre has also asked the state government to appoint a senior official to monitor the progress of the project,” said a senior official.
The permission from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for transfer of technology from Bharat Biotech that has developed the first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine in the country was sought in January this year.
Haffkine is a public sector undertaking owned by the state government and has developed a number of vaccines that include anti-rabies serum, anti-venom serum, oral polio vaccine etc. It has also sought permission for fill and finish operations of Covid vaccine in which Haffkine Institute will only fill vaccines in bottles and make them ready as a product.