Gujarat facility to make 200 million additional doses of Covaxin
Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced that it was further ramping up production capacity to manufacture additional 200 million Covaxin doses per year, taking the total number of vaccine doses produced annually to close to 1 billion.
These additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be manufactured at Chiron Behring Vaccines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharat Biotech at Ankleshwar in Gujarat. “The company plans to produce 200 million doses of Covaxin per annum in the GMP facilities that are already operational to produce vaccines based on Inactivated Vero Cell Platform Technology, under stringent levels of GMP and biosafety,” a statement by the Hyderabad-based company read. It added that the additional doses will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.
The company said it has already deployed multiple production lines for Covaxin at its Hyderabad and Bengaluru campuses. The addition of the Chiron Behring facility will effectively boost volumes up to 1 billion doses per annum, “with its own established campuses specialised for manufacturing inactivated viral vaccines under the highest levels of biosafety,” the company said in its statement.
Covaxin is sold to state governments and private hospitals for ₹400 and ₹1,200, respectively.
Earlier on April 20, the biotechnology major had announced that it was scaling up its manufacturing capacity to produce 700 million doses of the vaccine annually. At present, the company is producing about 120 million doses annually.
Before that on April 16, the central government had also announced that it would help double the production capacity of India’s first ‘make in India’ Covid-19 vaccine by May-June, from the existing 10 million doses per month, and with a target of helping to produce nearly 100 million doses per month by September.
Bharat Biotech has co-developed Covaxin along with Indian Council of Medical Research. It is one of the two vaccines being used in India’s Covid-19 immunisation programme, the other one being Covishield, which is the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced locally by Serum Institute of India.