COVID-19 vaccine: SII, Bharat Biotech to raise production by August


Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have submitted their production plan for the next four months as several states continue to report the shortages of COVID-19 vaccines.

While Pune-based Serum Institute said it can ramp up the production to 10 crore, the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech said they can raise the production to 7.8 crore doses till August.

Whole-time Director of Bharat Biotech Dr V Krishna Mohan told the Union Health Ministry and the office of Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) that the production of Covaxin can be raised to 3.32 crore in July and 7.82 crore in August, which will also be maintained in September.

The Ministry of Science and Technology had also stated on April 16 that Covaxin’s production capacity will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased around 6-7 fold by July-August 2021.

Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute Prakash Kumar Singh said the production of Covishield will be ramped up to 10 crore doses each in August, which will be maintained in September as well.

“We confirm that the quantities mentioned will be fulfilled under all circumstances. Also, we are trying our best by utilising all our resources to increase our production capacity of Covishield. In view of this, the production during June and July may also increase by some quantity,” Singh conveyed in a communique to the health ministry.

This comes one month after an inter-ministerial group comprising Joint Secretary in Department of Pharmaceuticals Rajneesh Tingal and Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Dr Mandeep Bhandari visited the production facilities of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech in April.

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Meanwhile, several states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana have decided to place orders directly with the vaccine makers since the current supply is not enough to meet the demand.