Bharat Biotech Aims to Supply 8 Crore Covaxin Doses by Feb as India Starts Inoculating Teens, Sites Geared Up

Aiming to touch 100 crore doses of Covaxin in 2022, Bharat Biotech is ready with a new plan to boost vaccine supply as the government kick-starts the vaccination drive for teenagers. Covaxin is the only option available for the segment.

The company will be supplying 7-8 crore vaccines every month, starting February, up from the current 5-6 crore doses.

While Hyderabad and Ankleshwar plants will manufacture vaccines, Bengaluru and Pune plants will manufacture the drug substance or the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which are the main component of vaccines.

“Bharat Biotech is prepared and ready with its strategies to contribute to India’s vaccination drive, including the drive for teenagers,” the company spokesperson told News18.com.

The company says it continues to invest, upgrade and expand its facilities.

“We have augmented our production, and are well prepared to support this programme. As stated before, manufacturing scale up has been carried out in a stepwise manner across multiple, specially designed Bio-Safety Level-3 production facilities in Hyderabad in Telangana, Malur in Karnataka and Ankleshwar in Gujarat and Pune, Maharashtra, the productions are on track and on target, with an aim to touch an annualized ~1.0 billion doses of Covaxin,” the spokesperson said.

15 crore doses required for teenagers

According to the industry official privy to the development, India would require around 15 crore doses for vaccinating the age group between 15-18 years which has population of around 7.5 crore.

So far, a total of 15.71 crore Covaxin doses have been administered in the country to adults since vaccination started last year.​

However, the source said that the company should not expect immediate rush at vaccination centers.

“It has taken the adult vaccination program a full year to double vaccinate 50% of the eligible population. The vaccination program for children will also proceed on similar lines, where the eligible children population will be vaccinated during the course of the next 3-4 months.”

While the production capacity has already gone up to touch 7-8 crore doses, the batch will be available for administration in February-March.

There is a gap of around two to three months from the manufacturing to supply of Covaxin, considering the vaccine undergoes more than 250 tests followed by tests in the government labs and time to supply doses to vaccination centres.​

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