Haffkine plans to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

An Expression of Interest (EoI) was recently sent to Sputnik and Johnson and Johnson regarding the same. Approval and response from both the manufacturers is awaited.

Haffkine plans to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited recently approached Sputnik and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) with an expressing their interest (EoI) to expand the manufacturing process of their coronavirus vaccine. Discussions are being held between the corporation and other manufacturers for the same.

The Managing Director of Haffkine Institute, Sandeep Rathod, recently confirmed the same and mentioned that communication has been sent regarding the interest and follow-up discussions will be held soon. 

Also Read: How to protect children in the possible on-coming third wave of COVID-19?

As of now, Haffkine signed an MoU with Bharat Biotech and has started working on the manufacturing of the COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, with an aim to produce over 220 million doses in one year. Permission was sought earlier this year from the ICMR for the production of the same, as the vaccine was jointly produced between two entities. Approval from the central government was given on April 15, 2021, and from the Maharashtra government on April 28, 2021. 

Currently, the team at Haffkine's Parel unit is working on setting up a Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory and the process is expected to complete in some months. A total sum of INR 159 crore was approved under the Covid Suraksha Yojana for this project, of which INR 94 crore was from the state government and the remaining INR 65 crore was from the Centre.

Also Read: Centre caps MRP of Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V for private hospitals; Check details here

The state government of Maharashtra has been working hard to procure vaccines from the manufacturers. Millions of citizens have been administered either Covishield, Covaxin or Sputnik V vaccine so far, however, the government and the respective civic bodies are determined to purchase more doses to vaccinate citizens between the age of 18 and 44. 

Meanwhile, the government is preparing to tackle the predicted third COVID-19 wave, which as per experts, is likely to affect children. Understanding the same, the state government is working with a team of paediatricians to set up special wards for children. 

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