Vijayawada: Presenting a novel solution to present vaccine shortage crisis in the country, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has sought technology transfer of Corona vaccine Covaxin from its producer Bharat Biotech to other companies to increase production to fully meet demand and speedily, too.
With Telugu Desam chief N Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders targeting the Chief Minister every day, slamming him for the state lagging others in vaccination drive, YSRC leaders had stepped up counter attacks and alleged links between Bharat Biotech and Naidu. They even challenged him to bring vaccines to the state as Bharat Biotech belongs to his relative.
A battle is raging between the two parties over the vaccination issue. Now, even Jagan Mohan Reddy seemed to target Bharat Biotech.
He wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, stating that present manufacturing capacity of Covaxin doesn’t cater to the huge demands of vaccine. At this rate, it may take several months to get all vaccinated in the state, he mentioned. He appealed to the PM to direct Bharat Biotech to facilitate technology transfer of Covaxin, and to ask ICMR-NIV to provide a viral train to whoever is interested and capable of manufacturing the vaccine.
The Chief Minister informed that, “the average count of cases per day over the last seven days stands at 20,300 and as of today we have 1,86,695 active cases. We have taken all the steps necessary to prevent further infections and provide quality treatment, care and support. While certain temporary measures like curfew, restrictions are taken up, the ultimate solution is in vaccinating every individual as early as possible. One of the measures we have been striving for is to provide vaccine doses to all eligible and vulnerable populations as per national guidelines at the earliest opportunity. We have in the past been able to demonstrate capability of administering over 6 lakh vaccinations per day. However, due to the short supply of vaccine we are not able to vaccinate our population at large.”
The CM appealed to the PM thus: “Under your leadership, COVAXIN, India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV). This is manufactured currently at the Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containment facility. The Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) gave Emergency use Authorization to COVAXIN in January 2021.
“It has also been announced from your good office to increase the production of COVAXIN. It is learnt that at present the total manufacturing capacity of this vaccine doesn't cater to the country's requirement. It may take several months to get all vaccinated at this pace. Considering that the COVAXIN manufacturing is intended to be ramped up, we would request you to please direct Bharat Biotech to do technology transfer of manufacturing the COVAXIN and ICMR-NIV to provide the viral strain to whoever interested and capable of manufacturing the vaccine.”
The CM also requested the PM to explore the possibility of involving all such production firms and enable them with the technology, IPR etc., to deliver the vaccine as quickly and as affordable as possible. “This shall ensure that IPRs/Patents etc., if any, are not a hindrance. Anyone who can manufacture or is interested to manufacture the vaccine should be encouraged to do so in the larger public interest. Entire manufacturing capacity should be mobilized and put to use in these testing times.
“I, therefore, request your consideration and intervention and if implemented will go a long way in encouraging the manufacturers and accelerate the supply of vaccines to be made available to the population at large. I look forward to your favorable orders on this matter,” pleaded thus the CM with the PM.