Centre buys 300 mn doses of Biological E’s COVID vaccine in advance

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The Centre on Thursday announced that the Central Government has finalized arrangements to reserve 300 million Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine doses. This is done with Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer, Biological-E.

The Union Ministry in a statement said, “These vaccine doses will be manufactured and stockpiled by M/s Biological-E from August-December 2021. For this purpose, the Union Ministry of Health would be making an advance payment of ₹1,500 crore to M/s Biological-E.”

The RBD protein sub-unit vaccine is likely to be available in the next few months protein subunit vaccine, which is currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials.

The statement issued by the Centre further reads, “The arrangement with M/s Biological-E is part of the wider endeavour of Government of India to encourage indigenous vaccine manufacturers by providing them support in Research & Development (R&D) and also financial support.”

The department of biotechnology has been providing financial assistance in terms of grant-in-aid of over ₹100 crore to the vaccine candidate since the pre-clinical stage. Not only this, it has also partnered with Biological-E to conduct all animal challenge and assay studies through its Research Institute Translational Health Science Technology Institute- Faridabad, Haryana.

The aid is a part of government of India’s “Mission COVID Suraksha- the Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission” that aims to bring a safe, efficacious, affordable, and accessible Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Union Ministry.

Though this mission, currently the development of five to six COVID-19 vaccine candidates are being supported. Some of these vaccine candidates are also now close to license and introduction in public health systems.

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