Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Sunday urged the Centre to set up a vaccine testing facility here "on a war footing" basis.
In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, state IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao stated that Hyderabad has emerged as the vaccination capital of the world by producing one-third of the global vaccines.
He noted that COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin was developed and also is being manufactured here.
He said there is an urgency to set up a second testing facility, and Hyderabad is an ideal location to host such a facility, as the city has a large number of vaccine manufacturers.
"The testing of each batch of vaccine produced in the country is being carried out only in the Central Drug Laboratory in Kasauli.
And for the entire process of sending the vaccination batch from Hyderabad to Kasauli takes approximately 30-45 days, which is time-consuming, and cost-intensive," Rama Rao pointed out.
Over the next few months, a significant amount of Covid vaccines will be produced in Hyderabad, he added.
Citing reports, the Minister said as per projections of the Centre almost 50 per cent of the total covid vaccine supply between August and December 2021 will be from Hyderabad.
"For the projected capacity of a billion doses in Hyderabad between August to December 2021, having a testing center in Hyderabad could result in accelerated throughput of about 8-10 crore additional vaccine doses per month in the country's overall supply," Rao said.
Referring to experts' predictions on the third wave in India between September and December 2021, he said vaccines are the only solution for this fight against covid, and hence increasing the rate of vaccination is even more critical.
Minister KTR assured that the state government will provide its complete support in establishing the facility on a fast track mode.
The testing center could be established in an existing set up like the National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research, Central Drug Testing Laboratory, Hyderabad to address the immediate requirement while a state-of-the-art full-fledged facility can be built in parallel to cater to testing requirements on a long term to ensure uninterrupted national and global supply of vaccines, he opined.
Rama Rao also stated that the Telangana government will be able to provide land as required in the Genome valley cluster of Hyderabad which has emerged as the vaccine hub....