The Central government has given its permission to the Mumbai-based Haffkin Institute to manufacture Covaxin, an anti-coronavirus vaccine of Bharat Biotech, an official said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had earlier requested the Centre to allow the Haffkine Institute to produce Covaxin, which is currently produced by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, the official from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said to news agency PTI.
Renu Swarup, secretary of the Union Science and Technology Department sent the approval letter to the Maharashtra chief secretary Sitaram Kunte, the official said.
The Union government has granted one year period to the state to carry out the production.
In January, Haffkine sought the nod from the ICMR for technology transfer. In March, it again sought permission and said that in case it is not granted the permission to manufacture the vaccine, it can ‘fill and finish’ operations of the Covid vaccine, where it will only fill vaccines in bottles and make them ready for dispatch.
Haffkine is one of the country’s oldest and premier biomedical research facilities. It has all the required facilities to produce the vaccine, Maharashtra ministers said. “Bharat Biotech produces Covaxin. If we get the formula from the company, the Maharashtra government is ready to manufacture it in Haffkine Institute, which has all the required facilities. It will help get more people vaccinated against COVID-19 in a short period,” Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said to Hindustan Times.