Vet institute offers to provide vaccine manufacturing facility

Amid shortage of COVID-19 vaccine as the country faces the second wave of infections, Bengaluru-based Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAH&VB) has offered to provide its state-of-the-art vaccine production facility to produce it.

The premier institute’s vaccine production facility, located on its Hebbal campus in Bengaluru, is considered to be one of the best in the country. Presently it is the only facility in the country for producing vaccine for Kyasanur Forest Disease, commonly known as monkey fever. It also produces four veterinary vaccines.

Institute director S.M. Byre Gowda told The Hindu that it would take nearly a year to set up an entirely new vaccine production facility right from scratch. In such a scenario, using the institute’s facility would save time and help in meeting the demand for vaccine.

He said the government could either convince the vaccine manufacturing companies to directly use the facility or get their permission to allow authorised franchises to manufacture them. Given the parameters and other requirements, the facility can be used to produce only Covishield and Sputnik V vaccines.

Presently, 10 to 15 crore doses of vaccines are being produced a year for veterinary diseases and KFD in the IAH&VB facility that has five vaccine production units. Dr. Gowda is confident that it is possible to increase the production to 20 to 25 crore doses a year for the COVID-19 vaccine if the firms work in multiple shifts and get additional manpower.

The COVID-19 vaccine production is unlikely to affect the veterinary vaccination production as the institute has already completed the production of most of the vaccines required for this year by the veterinary sector.

The institute, established in 1926, set up the hi-tech vaccination production unit about five years ago.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University’s Extension Division member C.V. Lokesh Gowda has petitioned Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa about the availability of such a facility. Mr. Lokesh Gowda, who is also chairman of the Karnataka Sheep and Goat Farming Co-operative Society, has appealed to the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol to take up the issue with appropriate authorities.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 1:44:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vet-institute-offers-to-provide-vaccine-manufacturing-facility/article34589410.ece

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