Indigenous Covaxin Production is Not on Expected Lines! Should Scale up Now!

  • The human race is well served by the invention of several vaccines to build a protective shield against the rampaging novel coronavirus is widely documented as well as appreciated. The record-breaking invention of vaccines in an unheard-of timeline deserves a wide round of applause too. Otherwise, the death toll from the dreaded virus would have reached unprecedented levels rendering several countries gasping for breath for survival. All said and done, the global community has an effective weapon to keep the virus from annihilating humans without encountering any resistance whatsoever. India is known as the world’s pharmaceutical manufacturing hub and the proud moniker has fairly lived up to the billing amid challenges.

PC: Patrick Burton

  • After witnessing initial hick-ups, the locally produced Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccines have hugely contributed to the vaccination drive crossing a milestone of 75 crores recently. A large credit should go to SII-powered Covishield for shouldering about 67 crores of those doses. A remarkable achievement indeed when compared to some of the most advanced nations sadly struggling to even reach one-fifth of the doses. However, it is a matter of concern that indigenously manufactured Covaxin production is not scaling up on expected lines even though new production lines are spread across multiple states now. Time is of the essence here and Bharat Biotech must catch up without any further delay.
  • Jigging back memory would remind us about the Union Health Ministry announced in July that it expects Covishield supplies to touch 12 crore doses a month and Covaxin 5.8 crore, respectively. In line with the announcement, the significant scale-up in vaccine administration to nearly 75 lakh doses per day in September is happening despite Covaxin’s hovering just around 6 lakh daily doses. In other words, Covishield appears to be on target exceeding the intended number of doses by a distance. Remarkably, indication points to delivery of a spectacular 20 crore doses by SII in September. Not the same case with Covaxin though. It is understood that the narrative could change if production from Bharat Biotech’s new plants in Malur near Bengaluru, Pune, and Ankleshwar besides Hyderabad delivers to professed capacity.

PC: Sentinel Digital Desk

  • Officials expect these facilities to come online to deliver 10-12 crore doses per month. Make no mistake, Covaxin is extremely critical to vaccination drive as safety and immunogenicity trials on children over two years old are currently on. And with over 40 crore Indians below 18, no nation can expect to leave such a huge demography unvaccinated as Covaxin is the best option for them right now. Much is expected from BB’s intranasal vaccine too, having commenced Phase 2 trials, as researchers believe may be better suited to prevent the virus from transmitting by neutralizing it in the nasal passage itself. India as a country is positioned at an extremely critical stage and any delivery below expectations will be detrimental to our all-important economic recovery processes. Imperative, BB delivers unhindered forthwith.