Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday seeking technology transfer of Bharat Biotech and ICMR-NIV developed Covaxin to ramp up production.
Reddy has proposed that the viral strain should be transferred to pharma companies interested in manufacturing Covaxin.
“It is learnt that the present manufacturing capacity of Covaxin doesn’t cater to the country’s requirement. It may take several months to get everyone vaccinated," he said.
This comes even as several states are facing a vaccine shortage as the government is now trying to inoculate the entire adult population of India.
Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, among other states, on Tuesday decided to issue global tenders for Covid-19 vaccines as the domestic supply could not keep up with the demand amid India’s second wave.
The Centre said it has so far provided more than 18 crore vaccine doses to states and UTs free of cost, but many of them have complained of an acute shortage of the jabs and are now prioritising people who need to be given their second dose within a prescribed period.
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha have also issued global tenders for procuring vaccines swiftly.
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin was on Tuesday recommended by an expert panel for phase II/III clinical trial on those aged between two to 18 years, official sources said.
The trial will take place in 525 subjects at various sites, including AIIMS, Delhi, AIIMS, Patna and Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur.
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on Tuesday deliberated upon Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s application seeking permission to conduct phase II/III clinical trials to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of Covaxin jabs in children aged 2 to 18 years. ”After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for conduct of proposed phase II/III clinical trial of whole virion inactivated coronavirus vaccine in the 2 to 18 years age group subject to the condition that the firm should submit the interim safety data of phase II clinical trial along with DSMB recommendations to the CDSCO before proceeding to phase III part of the study,” a source said.