Bharat Biotech ‘slows down production’ of Covaxin

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Hyderabad: Bharat Biotech said that it is slowing down production of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin across its manufacturing facilities.

The company said the decision has been taken as it has completed its supply obligations to procurement agencies and is foreseeing decrease in demand.

The company will now focus on pending facility maintenance, process and facility optimization activities, it said.

The production of Covaxin will be “temporarily slowed down”, the Bharat Biotech said in a late-night statement on Friday as the vaccine maker further insisted it has “completed its supply obligations to procurement agencies,” and it foresees a “decrease in demand”. India has been reporting a fall in infections with less than 2,000 cases reported a day in the last two weeks. However, some countries have been witnessing a daily Covid surge driven by the BA.2 Omicron variant.

In a statement, the vaccine manufacturer said: “For the coming period, the company will focus on pending facility maintenance, process and facility optimization activities. As all existing facilities were repurposed for the manufacture of Covaxin, with continuous production during the past year, to meet the public health emergency of COVID-19, these upgrades were due.”

It further pointed out that Covaxin, India’s homegrown vaccine against Covid, is currently under the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing or EUL.

“The company was also pleased to learn from the WHO, that the necessary optimisation work ‘does not indicate a change in the risk-benefit ratio (for Covaxin) and the data, available to WHO, indicates the vaccine is effective and no safety concern exists’,” the statement read.

The vaccine manufacturer is “working on further improvements and upgrades to ensure that the production of Covaxin continues to meet ever increasing global regulatory requirements,” it said. “More than 1 million doses of Covaxin were introduced under clinical trial mode, where safety of subjects was actively documented. Finally, Covaxin was extensively evaluated in around 30,000 subjects in more than 10 controlled clinical trials, resulting in more than 15 publications,” Bhrat Biotech added.

 

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