Covaxin manufacturing unit likely to be set up in Kolar district: Dy CM
Bengaluru: Karnataka deputy chief minister and head of state Covid task force, Dr C N Ashwatha Narayana, on Friday announced that a manufacturing plant of indigeneous vaccine Covaxin is likely to be set up in Malur industrial area in Kolar district.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Narayana said: “Malur, which is close to the state capital, has a good transport facility, including train services. The government has approved the project and the company is processing the administrative requisites.”
Any company engaged in manufacturing another vaccine Covishield will be welcomed and given cooperation, he said in reply to a query.
The announcement comes a day after the Karnataka high court expressed concerns over the shortage of vaccines and delay in administering the second dose in the state. The bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar said the state has only 1.1 million vaccines, while there was a need to provide the second dose to at least 3.1 million people.
As many as 10.1million people have been vaccinated across the state so far. While 7.36 million have been administered the first dose in the age group above 45 years, 1.73 million have received the second dose in the same category.
“As NITI Aayog has informed, there will be a production of 40 crore doses of vaccine in the country in the month of August and this is a positive development. So far, 19 crore doses of vaccines have been administered in the country. The Centre is promoting vaccine companies in all possible ways. The Prime Minister is also negotiating with other countries about relaxation of patent norms with regard to COVID vaccine and if this becomes fruitful, many more vaccine manufacturing plants will come up in the state,” he said.
Covaxin is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology. Covishield, on the other hand, is developed by Oxford-Astrazeneca but manufactured by Serum Institute of India in the country.
Besides announcing the manufacturing plant, the deputy chief minister said that in order to combat the second wave and as a preparation to face the possible third wave, every assembly constituency in the state will need to have a 100-bedded hospital with oxygenated and ICU beds and measures have already been initiated to meet this requirement.
He also informed that there was a good inflow of Corporate Social Responsibility funds and support for the Chief Minister’s relief fund besides aid from the central government.
Senior officer Selva Kumar and CSR, in charge of the state, Uma Mahadevan are monitoring this, Narayana said.