The Maharashtra Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Wednesday, permitted Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation to produce COVID-19 vaccines. Haffkine, with the assistance from the Departments of Science and Technology and Biotechnology, will set up a production unit to manufacture Covaxin using the technology transferred from the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech at Parel with a capex of Rs 154 crore. The central government had already given its nod on April 15 to Haffkine to produce the COVID-19 vaccine.
The state cabinet approved the allocation of Rs 94 crore from the Contingency Fund towards the proposed capex. As reported by the Free Press Journal, on April 17, the central government sanctioned Rs 65 crore for the same. Haffkine had sent the proposal in January this year and it has been approved by a high-level committee attached to the Department of Biotechnology.
Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation MD Sandeep Rathod will develop a production facility as per the central government’s guidelines, especially pertaining to the temperature to be maintained. He said that the production of Covaxin will not be started immediately. However, he hoped that it would be launched by March 2022.
Haffkine will produce 22.8 crore doses annually. Rathod said the vaccine cannot be put to use immediately, but can be administered later also as other vaccines are used.
“The vaccine produced by Haffkine will be used for long term and at an affordable price,” said Rathod.