Biological E, Bharat Biotech together sitting on stockpile of 250 million COVID vaccine doses
Two major vaccine makers from Hyderabad, Biological E Ltd and Bharat Biotech, together are holding about 250 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines ready to dispatch as and when orders are received.
According to respective company sources, 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. 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.
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In March ’22, Biological E successfully supplied 10 crore doses to the government. “Currently, 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.
The vaccine has been developed by Biological E in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development (Texas Children’s CVD) 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.
Bharat Biotech sources said the vaccine maker has more than 50 million doses of Covaxin readily available in vials, and over 200 million doses as drug substance. “Additional production capacity is also available to meet product demand,” they said adding fresh stocks of the vaccine are available and ready for supplies.
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 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.
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