Covid vaccine: Around 5 cr doses of Covaxin to expire next year, report claims

The production stoppage of Covaxin was initiated by Bharat Biotech earlier this year due to a lack of product demand, though the vaccine maker has established manufacturing to reach an annualized capacity of 1 billion doses at the end of 2021.

Livemint
Updated6 Nov 2022
Around 50 million doses of Covaxin to expire early next year.
Around 50 million doses of Covaxin to expire early next year.

Around 50 million doses of Bharat Biotech manufactured Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin lying with the company is set to expire early next year as there are no takers owing to poor demand, the company sources informed PTI.

The production stoppage of Covaxin was initiated by Bharat Biotech earlier this year due to a lack of product demand, though the vaccine maker has established manufacturing to reach an annualized capacity of 1 billion doses at the end of 2021, as per PTI reports.

"Bharat Biotech has more than 200 million doses of Covaxin in bulk form and approximately 50 million doses in vials ready to use. Due to lack of product demand, production stoppage of Covaxin was initiated several months ago, earlier this year,” sources told PTI.

“Covaxin doses in vials are set to expire during early 2023, resulting in losses for the company,” sources added.

However, the quantum of loss that Bharat Biotech would incur in the event of all the 50 million doses expiring next year is not known yet. 

As the infection rate has been sturdily declining globally, exports of Covaxin were negatively impacted by poor offtake by foreign countries. Sources said that Covid-19 is not considered a threat anymore globally. 

So far, 219.71 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including Covaxin have been administered under the nationwide vaccination drive, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

In April this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it confirmed the suspension of the supply of Covaxin through UN procurement agencies and recommended that countries using the vaccine take action as appropriate, as per PTI reports. 

When the Covid-19 infection was at its peak in 2021, the Brazilian government suspended its decision to import 20 million doses of Covaxin following a controversy that attracted investigation by authorities in that country.

Bharat Biotech on July 23, 2021, said it terminated the MoU it entered into with Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals LL.C for its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin for the Brazilian market.

In December 2021, Bharat Biotech said, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has approved the extension of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin’s shelf life up to 12 months from the date of manufacture.

 

(With PTI inputs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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