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Karnataka government mulling production of COVID-19 vaccine at Bengaluru institute amid shortage

The Karnataka government has recently sought information on the equipment and manufacturing capabilities of the Bengaluru-based Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAHVB).
 

Karnataka government mulling production of COVID-19 vaccine at Bengaluru institute amid shortage-dnm
Author
Bengaluru, First Published May 14, 2021, 2:56 PM IST
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Amid a severe shortage of Covid-19 vaccine in the state and the suspension of the vaccine drive to the 18-44 year age group, Karnataka is mulling over the possibility of having Covid-19 vaccine manufactured in a state-run facility in Bengaluru.

The Karnataka government has recently sought information on the equipment and manufacturing capabilities of the Bengaluru-based Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAHVB).

The institute, located in Hebbal in North Bengaluru, currently produces 5 to 6 lakh doses of vaccines per year for Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) or Monkey fever and vaccines for five other animal-related diseases.

Estimates suggest that the facility can produce up to 30 crore vaccine doses per year. It fulfills the basic requirements for the production of Covishield and Sputnik vaccines.

According to sources, the Covid-19 Task Force is pushing for this idea given the severe shortage of vaccine doses. The IAHVB has emerged as a potential candidate.

According to a report on Indianexpress.com, IAHVB Director SM Byregowda was quoted saying, “The state government had asked for information regarding the manufacturing and production facilities in the institute for Covid-19 vaccine. The institute facility has to be upgraded to manufacture vaccines like Covishield and Sputnik vaccines. Some infrastructure modification should be done before starting production of this Covid-19 vaccine.”

“To produce these two vaccines we need more information on manufacturing methodology and equipment used to manufacture these two vaccines,” he added.

According to Byregowda, if the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines is done at IAHVB, an estimated 20 to 30 crores of doses can be produced each year in this facility.

“We have already produced cell-cultured vaccines in our facility, since Covishield and Sputnik are adenovirus-based vaccines, we need to know specific equipment to covid vaccine production and add those to our facility,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said that the Centre would provide financial support of Rs 65 crore for Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech’s production facility in Bengaluru. “The production capacity of Covaxin will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased nearly six to seven fold by July-Aug 2021,” Sudhakar said, adding that the unit was expected to produce nearly 10 crore doses by September.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona 

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