ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Expanding Vaccine Production

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With the present Indian population of over 130 crore, the number of vaccines required to immunise the entire population would be about 310 crore doses (3.1 billion doses) or 218.5 crore doses for the 18+ adult population, allowing about 15% process losses. This is not an easy task. However, the Indian people need to know why India, a pioneer in large-scale vaccine production even before the current pandemic and a major exporter of vaccines, has to rely on just two private domestic manufacturers, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, to produce Covid-19 vaccines, a constraint that is painfully obvious today.

India, has a number of public and private sector units that can make a contribution to the expansion of local production of vaccines. Presently, two vaccines, namely Covishield of SII, Pune, and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad, are available for supply in India. Technology for Covaxin is fully home-grown, through collaboration between Bharat Biotech and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), a public sector research and development (R&D) institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an agency of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The central government is therefore entitled to make use of march-in-rights available to supporting government entities, as tacitly accepted by Bharat Biotech in extending technology transfer to three public sector vaccine units.

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Updated On : 10th Jun, 2021

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