In the face of a vaccination shortage, Karnataka will house manufacturing plants for Covaxin and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines.
While Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin manufacturing facility in Malur, Kolar district, is under construction, Shilpa Medicare has signed a three-year definitive agreement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Shilpa Biologicals Pvt. Ltd. (SBPL), for the production and supply of the Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine from its integrated biologics R&D-cum-manufacturing centre in Dharwad.
By the end of August, the Kolar vaccine manufacturing facility, according to state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, will be able to produce four to five crore doses each month.
Sudhakar claimed he attended a video conference with Bharat Biotech founder Dr Krishna Ella, his daughter Dr Jala Ella, and the rest of the team on May 17 in Bengaluru. Sudhakar said, “Dr Ella has assured me that their facility at Malur in Kolar will be able to produce one crore vaccines by June-end. By July-end it will be two to three crores, and their target by August-end is four crore to five crore vaccine doses.”
Dr. Krishna Ella and the directors of Bharat Biotech have also informed him that vaccination doses will be delivered to Karnataka as soon as possible, according to the minister. Sudhakar stated that he had requested a rollout timeline from them.
Meanwhile, SBPL said in a regulatory filing that it expects to produce 50 million doses of the dual vector Sputnik V in the first 12 months of commercial production.
On May 14, DRL soft-launched the imported COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. The vaccination is priced at Rs 948 per dosage, plus a 5% GST (retail price of Rs 995.40).
DRL, according to Shilpa Medicare, will help SBPL transfer technologies. SBPL will be in charge of manufacturing, while DRL will be in charge of distributing and promoting the vaccine doses throughout its marketing regions, according to the agreement.
In the near future, Shilpa Medicare stated, the businesses are looking into manufacturing Sputnik Light, a single-dose version of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Inoculations of the new coronavirus vaccines have been administered to nearly 1.13 crore people in Karnataka thus far. Both the first and second doses are included in this figure. However, due to a scarcity of dosages, the immunisation campaign for adults aged 18 to 44 has been halted.
India is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infection, and quick mass vaccination is being viewed as a viable approach to stop the pandemic from spreading further.