In a report presented in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) said that the estimated manufacturing capacity of the country with respect to ‘Covishield’ is 70-100 million doses per month and with respect to ‘Covaxin’ is 150 million doses per year. The department presented the information in response to an inquiry of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change regarding the status of current vaccine production capacity of the country with respect to the two approved vaccines. The Parliamentary Standing Committee also inquired as to when these vaccines would be made available to non-priority population.
“The inactivated vaccine candidate, COVAXIN, developed jointly by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has a planned production capacity of 150 million doses per year”, the department of Biotechnology told the panel. “The estimated manufacturing capacity of the non-replicating viral vector vaccine, COVISHIELD, by the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, is about 70-100 million doses per month”, the department added. Thirty other Covid-19 vaccines are reportedly at different stages of trial.
The Standing Committee also urged the dept to explore possibility of finding cure for certain diseases
The Parliamentary Standing Committee reportedly urged the department to explore the possibility of developing cure for certain rare diseases for which Indian is mostly dependent on imports and patients end up spending large sums of money on excise/import duty for procuring the cure.
India providing vaccines to countries across the globe
India has earned applause from the world for providing Covid-19 vaccines to various countries including economically weaker countries. India had sent vaccines to over 60 nations presenting an example of international cooperation during crisis. Representatives of several countries that have received the India-made Covid-19 vaccines including some Caribbean countries have poured praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s generous gesture. The Chief of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also thanked PM Modi for enabling vaccination in several countries.