Covid: Biological E, Bharat Biotech together holding 250 million vaccine doses

The two major Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturing units, Biological E and Bharat Biotech, together are holding about 250 million Covid vaccine doses ready to dispatch as and when orders are received, according to news agency PTI.

Currently, Biological E is holding 200 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax while Bharat Biotech is sitting on a stockpile of 50 million doses of Covaxin, as per the company’s respective sources.

Dr. Vikram Paradkar, Executive Vice President (Manufacturing), Biological E, said the firm produced about 30 crore doses of Corbevax in total, abiding by the vaccine manufacturing commitment to the Central government, as per PTI reports.

In March 2022, Biological E successfully supplied 10 crore doses to the government.

“We have approximately 20 crore (200 million) doses that are fully tested and ready for supply, as and when we receive orders. Additionally, we manufactured 20 crore doses equivalent of the antigen which will help us ramp up the manufacturing of the Corbevax finished product quickly,” Paradkar told PTI.

Biological E has developed the vaccine in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Baylor College of Medicine (Baylor) in Houston, Texas, USA.

He further said Biological E can begin with the additional vaccine supplies within eight weeks of future orders and can manufacture and supply approximately 10 crore doses of Corbevax on a monthly basis as per its qualified manufacturing capacity, PTI reported. 

“Bharat Biotech has more than 50 million doses of Covaxin readily available in vials, and over 200 million doses as a drug substance. Additional production capacity is also available to meet product demand,” the company sources said, adding that fresh stocks of the vaccine are available and ready for supply.

Covaxin, India’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, was developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Due to a lack of product demand, production stoppage of Covaxin was initiated earlier this year, and also the 50 million doses in vials are set to expire during early 2023, resulting in losses to the company, sources had earlier said.

 

(With PTI inputs)

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