The Maha Vikas Aghadi Government on Thursday communicated to the Centre that the permit Haffkine Bio Pharmaceutical Corporation can annually produce 22 crore vaccines and can work on a fill-and-finish basis to dispatch 16 crore vaccines annually. Further, the state government has brought to the Centre’s notice that Haffkine can immediately start the production of Covaxin which can be supplied in Maharashtra and in other states.
A senior state government officer told Free Press Journal, "Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has urged the Centre to transfer the vaccine technology under Mission COVID Suraksha to the Haffkine under the guidance of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Prime Minister Narendra Modi has responded positively. In addition, Haffkine has already contacted Bharat Biotech with a request to appoint it as a franchisee for the production of Covaxin. Bharat Biotech has in principle agreed and suggested the Haffkine upgrade its technological set up at its manufacturing facility at Parel in south-central Mumbai. Haffkine will need Rs 80 crore for technological upgradation which the state government will grant very soon.’’ The officer said if the Centre gives its go-ahead soon the Haffkine can start vaccine production under the ICMR guidance.
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.