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Vaccine companies ramping up output for phase-3 NewsFunda

As the country gears up to inoculate its “priority population” of 50-plus people in the third phase of Covid vaccination starting next month, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has set itself a target of doubling production of the Covishield vaccine from April to 100 million doses (10 crore) from the existing 50 million (5 crore).

Covishield is one of the two vaccines cleared by the country’s drug regulator DCGI apart from Hyderabadbased Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute, had tweeted on Sunday that countries need to be “patient” about receiving the vaccine as the company had been “directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and balance the needs of the rest of the world”.

With the country targeting a 300-million (30 crore) 50-plus population for vaccination in the coming months, SII is expected to supply 400 million of the required 600 million doses. It has already stated that the fire in one of its new facilities has not affected Covishield production.

Sources in SII said till date, it had supplied 33.3 million doses to the government and exported more than 31 million to 29 countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, South America, Africa and West Asia.

Bharat Biotech, too, has announced plans to scale up production of Covaxin through four facilities across the country with a target of 700 million doses by mid-2021.

“We had one BSL-3 (bio-safety level-3) containment facility, and the second one has also been commissioned. The third one will be commissioned by the end of this week,” Dr Krishna Ella, the firm’s MD, said, adding that these will allow them to make at least 40 million doses a month.

(With inputs from Swati Bharadwaj in Hyderabad)

News is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Newsfunda

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