COVID-19 vaccine shortage: Wockhardt offers to make 2 billion doses a year
New Delhi, May 26: Drug firm Wockhardt has reportedly informed the Indian government that it has the capacity to produce up to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines a year, starting with a capacity of 500 million doses by February 2022.
The Mumbai-based company told the Centre it can produce most of the COVID-19 vaccines in use and sought help to identify a partner for the production process, the Indian Express has reported.
Meanwhile, the UK government has reserved one fill and finish production line at Wockhardt UK for its exclusive use for 18 months in order to guarantee the supply of vaccines required to fight against COVID-19.
In India, Wockhardt has a large manufacturing facility at Aurangabad which has a capacity of one billion doses. The facility can manufacture both drug substances as well as fill and finish products, he added.
Fill and finish is the process of filling vials with vaccine and finishing the process of packaging the medicine for distribution.
India facing a stiff challenge of ensuring swift access to affordable vaccines and medicines for prevention of the pandemic and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
In view of the increasing infections, it is critical to augment the availability of vaccines on a war footing.
The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's indigenously developed Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Russia's SPUTNIK V are currently being used in India's inoculation drive against coronavirus.
Several states and UTs including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana have decided to opt for global tenders for procurement of anti-coronavirus shots with the domestic supply falling short to meet the rising demand.