The monthly production of indigenously developed coronavirus vaccine Covaxin will be increased to 6-7 crore doses in July-August from one crore doses in April, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. The production capacity of the vaccine being manufactured by Bharat Biotech is expected to reach nearly 10 crore doses a month by September, the ministry said.
“There have been some unfound media reports on unaccounted vaccine doses of Bharat Biotech. These reports are incorrect and are not supported by full information on the matter. The claims of Bharat Biotech having 6 crore doses is an error of comprehension among some quarters reporting the said matter,” the ministry said in its statement. The production capacity of Covaxin will be doubled by May-June and then increased nearly six-seven fold by July-August 2021, i.e. increasing the production from 1 crore vaccine doses in April to 6-7 crore vaccine doses/month in July- August. “It is expected to reach nearly 10 crore doses per month by September 2021,” the statement said.
This capacity augmentation of Covaxin carried out under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission Covid Suraksha was announced by the Government of India and implemented by the Department of Biotechnology to accelerate the development and production of indigenous jabs. Vaccine being a biological product of medical importance takes time for harvesting and quality testing, the ministry said, highlighting, “this cannot be done overnight to ensure a safe product. Thus increase in capacity of manufacturing too needs to be a guided process and an increase in gross production does not translate to immediate supply.” According to data compiled in the morning of May 28, Bharat Biotech has supplied 2,76,66,860 vaccine doses to the Government of India. Out of these, 2,20,89,880 doses, including wastage, have been consumed by states and union territories.
With this, the balance available doses of vaccines with states and UTs are 55,76,980 doses, the statement said. Private hospitals have also received 13,65,760 doses of Covaxin in the same month over and above what has been supplied to the Government of India and the states. “In May, additional 21,54,440 doses of Covaxin are to be supplied. This takes the total vaccine supplied and in pipeline till date to 3,11,87,060 doses. Almost 90,00,000 doses are committed for the month of June by the manufacturer,” the statement stated.