- Centre finalized arrangements with Hyderabad based vaccine manufacturer Biological-E
- Advance payment of Rs 1500 crores sanctioned
- Vaccine doses will be manufactured and stockpiled from August-December 2021
India: In an attempt to ramp up the nation’s immunizations, the Centre booked 30 crore doses of the under-trial vaccine developed by Hyderabad based Biological-E pharmaceutical. An advance payment of ₹ 1,500 crores to the company has been sectioned for the second made-in-India vaccine as per the Union Health Ministry.
In an official statement on Thursday it said, “These vaccine doses will be manufactured and stockpiled by M/s Biological-E from August-December 2021. For this purpose, the Union Ministry of Health would be making an advance payment of ₹1,500 crores to M/s Biological-E.”
The move comes after massive criticism of the Centre’s vaccination policy, which fell short when India was hit by an aggressive second wave of Covid in March-April. The government had to pause exports of Covid shots under its “Vaccine Maitri” programme and scrambled to procure more doses to tackle the shortage in the country. The slow roll-out has become a big concern as experts warn of the third wave of Covid.
The RBD protein subunit vaccine, which is currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials, is likely to be available in the next few months. The new vaccine arrangement is “part of the wider endeavour of the government to encourage indigenous vaccine manufacturers” by providing them support in research and development and costs, the Centre said.
Biological-Es shot was funded Rs 100 crores by the Department of Biotechnology, which also partnered with the company to conduct various studies.