Bharat Biotech will produce 30 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, next month against 15 million doses in March to support vaccination campaign in the country, its chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said on Tuesday.
The vaccine maker in a statement has said that the company has ramped up its production capacity of Covaxin to 700 million doses per annum.
The comments have come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhorted vaccine makers to scale up their production capacity to inoculate all Indians in the shortest possible time.
The government has also approved a payment of about Rs 4,500 crore as advance to vaccine makers like Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech against future supplies.
Speaking at an event, Ella said that the company will be activating two new facilities at Bengaluru. The company started with one production facility in the beginning, and now it has four production facilities activated in Hyderabad.
“Last month we produced 15 million doses, this month we are reaching 20 million doses, next month we will be making around 30 million doses followed by 70 to 75 million doses,” Ella said.
He said that the company expects to reach a production capacity of up to 800 million doses per annum by July-August. “We are ramping up the production and by July-August we will be able to reach 700 to 800 million doses production capacity per annum,” Ella said.
Ella also emphasised that the company has never taken any money from the Government of India for production or for clinical trials so far.
Stating the need for vaccination, Ella said injectable vaccines only protect the lower lung not the upper lung so many people may still get the disease after vaccination but it won’t be lethal and one gets protection against the seriousness of the disease. Wearing a mask is a must even after vaccination.
When asked about his take on other vaccines against COVID-19 coming to India, Ella said if the vaccines are well tested and well proven, Indian citizens should have all the options available. He also added that people should believe that Indian science is not behind any of the western countries.