Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday urged city-based vaccine manufacturer Biological E to fast track the availability of their COVID-19 vaccine. The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers visited the COVID vaccine manufacturing facilities of Bharat Biotech and Biological-E here, an official release said.
Gowda visited Biological E which has received support under Mission COVID Suraksha (the Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission, which was launched to reinforce and accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development efforts as part of the third stimulus package, Atmanirbhar 3.0) for the development of indigenous RBD protein sub-unit based COVID vaccine. The support to Biological E is to the tune of Rs 100 crore and the vaccine is in Phase-III clinical trials, the release said.
The vaccine is expected to be available in the next few months. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has finalised arrangements with Biological-E to reserve 30 crore of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
These vaccine doses will be manufactured and stockpiled by Biological-E from August to December 2021. For this purpose, the Union Ministry of Health has made an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore to Biological-E, it said.
“The Minister urged Biological E to fast-track the availability of their COVID-19 vaccine to cater to the need of our country,” according to the release. Gowda, who also visited Bharat Biotech to oversee the COVAXIN production, interacted with the top scientists of Bharat Biotech and complimented the company for making available an indigenous vaccine against COVID-19 for the country, it said.
Bharat Biotech as well as other public sector vaccine manufacturers are being upgraded with infrastructure and technology required for COVAXIN production, it said, adding financial support is being provided as grant from Centre to the tune of approximate Rs 65 crore to Bharat Biotech’s new Bengaluru facility. This facility is being repurposed to increase the capacity of vaccine production, the release added.
Similarly, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya along with Minister of State for Home AffairsG Kishan Reddy on Sunday visited Bharat Biotech’s vaccine manufacturing and Bio Safety Level-3 facility here to review the production of vaccines. Mandaviya said that the government under the leadership of Prime MinisterNarendra Modi is committed to support “all our vaccine developers and manufacturers for ensuring vaccines for all”.
The Ministers also discussed ramping up the production of vaccines with the manufacturers,another official release said..