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Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is looking to find international manufacturing partners to scale up the production of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin to a billion doses each year. 

Covaxin is one of the five vaccines that have been approved for emergency use approval in India. However, Bharat Biotech has struggled to boost output, missing supply commitments to the Indian government.

"We want to ensure that Bharat Biotech can ably meet the demand for Covaxin such that individuals across the country, and the globe, have access to the vaccine," the company's chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said in a statement.

Vaccines from new facility 

On Sunday, the company rolled out the first batch of Covaxin shots from a facility in Ankleshwar in western India that has the capacity to produce more than 1 crore doses per month.

After the launch, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said: “We want to ensure equitable access of the vaccine to every Indian citizen, and the expansion of Covaxin production facilities by Bharat Biotech will take us closer to this goal."

Bharat Biotech has already deployed multiple production lines at its Hyderabad, Malur, Bengaluru, and Pune campuses.

"We want to ensure that Bharat Biotech can ably meet the demand for Covaxin such that individuals across the country, and the globe, have access to the vaccine and can secure their health and safety. Our goal to develop a vaccine with global safety and efficacy standards has now been achieved, we are now marching towards the goal of the annualized capacity of one billion doses," said Ella. 

Last month, Mandaviya told parliament that Bharat Biotech would supply 2.5 crore doses in July and 3.5 crore million in August, less than half what the government had initially expected.

India has administered over 63 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses so far, said the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Sunday.

 

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