Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: India seeks to boost vaccine production; Jaishankar likely to visit US next week

Web Report/Mumbai
Filed on May 21, 2021

A report suggested that US manufacturers were keen that India opt for centralised procurement of vaccines.

Even as domestic Indian producers of the Covid vaccines announce plans to boost production to meet the growing demands in the country, External affairs minister S. Jaishankar is visiting the US next week to discuss procurement of the vaccines from top American producers.

Reports on Friday said Jaishankar is likely to meet top executives from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to ensure availability of the vaccines to meet the widening gap between demand and supply. Domestic production has dropped sharply impacting the administration of vaccines from 3.66 million a day in mid-April to 1.48 million now.

A report suggested that American manufacturers were keen that India opt for centralised procurement of vaccines, instead of the present system where individual state governments deal with producers abroad. They want India to grant Emergency use Authorisation for US vaccines.

Meanwhile, with international competition likely to emerge soon, Indian manufacturers are also unveiling ambitious plans to boost production of the drugs. Bharat Biotech, currently the only other Indian producer along with Serum India, said on Thursday that it plans to ramp up production at its vaccine facility in Gujarat.

“The company plans to produce 200 million doses of Covaxin per annum in the GMP facilities that are already operational for the production of vaccines based on Inactivated Vero Cell Platform Technology, under stringent levels of GMP and biosafety,” said a company press release.

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