Mumbai: In a significant development, the Centre has allowed the Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation to produce Covaxin following technology transfer from the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Corporation. The Department of Science and Technology has accepted the state government’s request made last month. The Centre’s permission to Haffkine to produce Covaxin is for one year, in view of the rising Covid cases.
Haffkine is soon expected to embark on vaccine production, putting experienced and trained scientists on the job.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and indicated that the vaccine production can start in the state at a higher scale.
The Free Press Journal broke the story of the state government’s formal request to allow Haffkine to produce vaccines either on technology-transfer basis or fill-and-finish basis, considering the requirement of vaccines in the state on March 19.
During his visit to Haffkine on March 21, Thackeray had said it could produce 28 crore vaccines between April 1, 2021 and March 2022. The CM had further stated that Haffkine and Bharat Biotech would jointly produce Covaxin with the establishment of a new plant on the corporation’s Parel premises in south central Mumbai at a cost of Rs 154 crore. Haffkine had already held preliminary talks with Bharat Biotech for the technology transfer.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope said Haffkine has the necessary experience and expertise in vaccine production. It is engaged in the development and production of a wide range of bacterial and viral vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, plague, poliomyelitis and rabies. It also formulates pharmaceutical products, disinfectants, ointments, injectables, syrups and mixtures.