Ankleshwar (Guj), Aug 29: The first commercial batch of Covaxin was released on Sunday from the new plant of Bharat Biotech at Ankleshwar in Gujarat”s Bharuch district by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya who described the development as a “landmark moment in the journey of India”s fight against COVID-19.
Dedicating the release of the first batch of the anti-COVID 19 vaccine from Bharat Biotech”s Chiron Behring Vaccines facility to the nation, the health minister said the new plant has a manufacturing capacity of more than 1 crore doses per month starting Sunday, and products from the facility will be available for supplies starting September 2021, as per an official release.
“Vaccination is the most important thing to strengthen the country”s fight against coronavirus. Released the first commercial batch of #COVAXIN from Bharat Biotech”s plant at Ankleshwar, Gujarat today. This will increase the supply of vaccine in the country and will help the vaccine reach every Indian,” Mandaviya tweeted soon after the event.
“India is focused on slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the country, and the key to achieving this lies in the swift and efficient administration of vaccines. We want to ensure equitable access of the vaccine to every Indian citizen, and the expansion of Covaxin production facilities by Bharat Biotech will take us closer to this goal,” Mandaviya, who also heads the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, was quoted as saying in a release issued by Bharat Biotech.
One of the world”s largest vaccination programs in the world has been made possible due to the development of its indigenous vaccines, he said.
Indian multinational biotechnology company headquartered in Hyderabad, Bharat Biotech, has already deployed multiple production lines at its Hyderabad, Malur, Bengaluru, and Pune campuses, and the addition of Chiron Behring, Ankleshwar will further augment its Covaxin production capacity, the company said.
Over 63 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in India so far
Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, Dr Krishna Ella, who was present at the launch, said the company is now marching towards the goal of annualised capacity of nearly 1 billion doses.
He said the company wants to ensure that it ably meets the demand for Covaxin so that individuals across the country and the globe have access to it to secure their health and safety.
“A new filing facility constructed during 2020 is now being utilised for the production of Covaxin. The Covaxin production had begun in early June, before which the team had executed engineering batches to study the equipment functionality at the facility. Chiron Behring Vaccines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharat Biotech,” the company said in the release.
Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, said the company is now “several steps closer to achieving our goal of providing Covaxin to all pockets of the country and overseas.”
Bharat Biotech is also exploring manufacturing partnerships with its partners in other countries, who have prior expertise with commercial-scale manufacturing of inactivated viral vaccines under biosafety containment for further augmentation, the company said.
Navsari MP CR Paatil, MLAs Ishwarsinh Patel and Dushyant Patel, were also present on the occasion.
India administered 63.09 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccination in a nationwide drive till Sunday morning, as per the data released by the Union Health Ministry.
Story first published: Sunday, August 29, 2021, 19:19 [IST]