Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday released the first commercial batch of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in Ankleshwar, Gujarat. The Minister said that vaccination was the most important thing to strengthen the country in the fight against the pandemic. “This now will increase the supply of vaccine in the country and will help in reaching the vaccine to every Indian,” he added.
He also informed that the Ankleshwar plant had a manufacturing capacity of more than one crore doses a month.
Speaking about the status of Covaxin production in India, the Union Minister said that Bharat Biotech had already deployed multiple production lines at its Hyderabad, Malur, Bengaluru, and Pune campuses, and the addition of Chiron Behring, Ankleshwar, would further augment its Covaxin production capacity.
A release issued by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers noted that a new filing facility constructed during 2020 was now being utilised for the production of Covaxin. The production had begun in early June, before which the team had executed engineering batches to study the equipment functionality at the facility. Products manufactured from Ankleshwar facilities would be available for supplies starting September 2021, he added.
Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, said, “Our goal to develop a vaccine with global safety and efficacy standards has now been achieved, we are now marching towards the goal of annualised capacity of ~ 1.0 billion doses.”
Bharat Biotech was also exploring manufacturing partnerships with its partners in other countries, who had prior expertise with commercial scale manufacturing of inactivated viral vaccines under biosafety containment for further augmentation, he added.
In his speech, the Minister noted that India was running one of the largest vaccination programmes in the world and it was made possible due to the development of these indigenous vaccines.
“The National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has been successfully going on across all States and Union Territories since 16th January, 2021,” he added