Bharat Bio gearing up for Covaxin export

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on November 06, 2021

Vaccine maker sees ‘increasing interest’ in Covaxin for paediatric use too

Buoyed by the validation from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is gearing up to export significant quantities of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin. In the backdrop of increasing concerns over a possible third wave in Europe, there has been a spurt in global interest in Covaxin for paediatric use too.

So far, about 66 countries have expressed interest in procuring the vaccine. More than 50 countries are expected to grant Emergency Use Authorisation (EUAs) shortly and the company has already received EUAs from some countries., a company source told BusinessLine. “Clinical data from 2-18 age group has also been well received by several countries. Only Covaxin has such data in Covid vaccines for the 2-18 age group. Several countries are now mulling import of Covaxin for their paediatric populations,” the source added.

As export restrictions have been lifted by the government for Covid-19 vaccines, the company had already commenced exports in small quantities in October and the vaccine maker is all geared up to step up the quantum now.

WHO EUL will make Covaxin eligible for procurement and global distribution by UNICEF, PAHO, GAVI-COVAX and the company expects to receive orders soon.

Ramping up capacity

The recent ramp up in production capacity of Covaxin will be handy for Bharat Biotech to cater to global demand. It has just reached a capacity of about 55 million doses per month and is working on to touch an annualised capacity of one billion doses by the end of the year.

The morale of the research team has also been lifted by the grant of EUL by the WHO and is expected to boost ongoing covid vaccine research at Bharat Biotech, say insiders. The company is now working on an intranasal vaccine which offers convenience apart from simplifying logistics and vaccine administration. In a first of its kind effort, the company is examining a new approach of using a single dose of intra-muscular Covaxin and another nasal vaccine or the heterologous prime boost.

Published on November 05, 2021

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