Direct Bharat Biotech-ICMR to share Covaxin tech with others: CM Jagan requests PM

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on May 11, 2021

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy   -  The Hindu

He has also requested for additional supplies of medical oxygen

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct Bharat Biotech to share Covaxin technology to enable others to manufacture and meet the huge demand for vaccine in the country.

In a letter addressed to Modi, apart from requesting for additional supplies of Medical Oxygen for patient care, he thanked the Government of India for the support given to Andhra Pradesh in the management of Covid-19.

"Sir, You are well aware that Andhra Pradesh is in the midst of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with all its might. The average count of cases per day over the last seven days stands at 20,300 and as of today we have 1,86,695 active cases. We have taken all the steps necessary to prevent further infections and provide quality treatment, care and support. While certain temporary measures like curfew, restrictions are taken up, the ultimate solution is in vaccinating every individual as early as possible. One of the measures we have been striving, is to provide vaccine to all eligible and vulnerable population as per national guidelines at the earliest opportunity. We have in the past been able to demonstrate capability of administering over 6 lakh vaccinations per day, however due to the short supply of vaccine we are not able to vaccinate our population at large," the AP CM wrote in the letter to PM.

He further wrote: "Covaxin, India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV). This is manufactured currently at the Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containment facility. The Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) gave Emergency use Authorisation to Covaxin in January 2021. It has also been announced from your office, to increase the production of Covaxin.

It is learnt that at present the total manufacturing capacity of this vaccine doesn't cater to the country's requirement. It may take several months to get all vaccinated at this pace. Considering that the Covaxin manufacturing is intended to be ramped up, we would request you to please direct Bharat Biotech to do technology transfer of manufacturing the Covaxin and ICMR-NIV to provide the viral strain to whoever interested and capable of manufacturing the vaccine. Please explore the possibility of involving all such production firms and enable them with the technology, IPR etc., to deliver the vaccine as quickly and as affordable as possible. This shall ensure that IPRs/Patents etc., if any, are not a hindrance. Anyone who can manufacture or is interested to manufacture the vaccine should be encouraged to do so in larger public interest. Entire manufacturing capacity should be mobilized and put to use in this testing times.

I therefore request your consideration and intervention on the above suggestions and if implemented will go a long way in encouraging the manufacturers and accelerate supply of vaccines to be made available to the population at large. I look forward for your favourable orders on this matter."

Published on May 11, 2021

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