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Govt, Bharat Biotech willing to invite other cos for Covaxin production

By Sahil Pandey
May 13, 2021 20:00 IST
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Amid the reports of coronavirus vaccine shortage from various states, the central government and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech are willing to invite other companies which want to produce COVAXIN in a bid to scale up the vaccine production, said NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul, on Thursday.

 

Photograph: ANI Photo

However, Dr Paul also stressed that COVAXIN can only be produced in the Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) labs.

"People say that Covaxin should be given to other companies for manufacturing. I am happy to say that Covaxin manufacturing company (Bharat Biotech) has welcomed this when we discussed it with them. Under this vaccine, a live virus is inactivated and this is done only in BSL3 labs. Not every company has this. We give an open invitation to companies who want to do this. Companies that want to manufacture Covaxin, should do it together. The Centre will assist so that capacity is increased," Dr Paul said.

Talking about the vaccination coverage in his presentation NITI Aayog member emphasised that one-third of the population aged 45 years and above are now covered.

"We are happy to report that one-third of 45 and above are protected. The age group of 45 and above contribute to 88 per cent of deaths. So you can imagine, how many dents it would have made to reduce the risk of death of this population," he added.

Highlighting the latest feat achieved by the country, Dr Paul disclosed that nearly 18 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in India, whereas, in the United States, the number stands around 26 crores which state that India stands in the third position in the overall vaccination tally in the world.

The Centre's decision to invite other players to produce COVAXIN comes at a time when several state governments and opposition parties have been demanding to increase the production of vaccines by sharing formulas with other capable companies for manufacturing.

As many as 3,62,727 new COVID-19 cases, 3,52,181 discharges and 4,120 deaths were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry informed on Thursday.

The total positive cases in the country so far stand at 2,37,03,665.

This includes 1,97,34,823 recoveries and 2,58,317 reported deaths.

There are currently 37,10,525 active cases in the country.

A total of 17,72,14,256 doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered so far.

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Sahil Pandey
Source: ANI
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