Published: 16th April 2021
What the FAQ: How did Haffkine Institute get the Centre’s permission to manufacture Covaxin?
While states have been running out of vaccines, the Ventre gave their nod for Maharashtra to begin the manufacture of Covaxin locally
At a time when states are grappling to deal with the second Coronavirus wave, there is a widespread drive to access vaccines. With the number of cases in Maharashtra crossing 3.5 million cases, the Central Government has approved the Haffkine Institute in Mumbai to manufacturer the Covaxin vaccine.
What is Covaxin?
Developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV), the Covaxin is one among the country’s locally manufactured vaccines. Created in the high containment facility SL-3, it used Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell derived platform technology, which utilises an inactive form of the virus to mitigate it.
How will Haffkine Institute produce Covaxin?
Last month, Maharashtra Chief Minister had written to the Central Government asking for the permission to manufacture the vaccine locally in Maharashtra at a time when several states had reported a shortage of vaccine availability. In his letter, the PM had mentioned that Haffkine would be able to develop 126 million doses to be used in the state. He requested for a technology transfer to be done with the support of the ICMR under the Centre’s Mission COVID Suraksha programme.
How does a technology transfer work?
The Mumbai-based institute is expected to complete the last stages of the vaccine manufacturing work which includes filling the bottles and preparing them for distribution. Technology transfer is a process that involves shifting the mechanism of producing of a vaccine to a new place entirely. This involves a careful replication of each step included in the production process.