New Delhi: Indian pharmaceutical company Wockhardt has reportedly informed the government at the Centre that it can produce as many as two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines a year, starting with a capacity of 500 million doses by February 2022. In its offer to the government, Wockhardt has also stated that it has the manufacturing and research capability to create a diversified portfolio that would allow it to produce and supply mRNA, protein-based, and viral vector-based vaccines, said the report. On the other hand, the government is yet to accept the company’s offer and is still examining it.
As per the report published by The Indian Express, the Mumbai-based company has already submitted a formal submission to the Centre earlier this month seeking help to identify potential partners in the country whose vaccines it could produce. The company is also said to be amidst “accessing” some of the technology to make the vaccine doses.
“The idea is not to make two billion doses of a single vaccine, but to have 2-3 vaccines available so that there is a more sustainable activity,” said a source aware of the development. Meanwhile, outside India, Wockhardt has already made an agreement with the UK government to “fill and finish” Covid-19 vaccines exclusively for the country. The UK government has reserved one fill and finish production line at Wockhardt UK for its exclusive use for 18 months in order to guarantee the supply of vaccines required to fight against COVID-19. The company was contracted to manufacture 100 million units of Oxford vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca.
The news about the offer comes at a time when India’s vaccination drive is hit by a shortage of doses. Several Indian states had to halt the COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-44 age group due to a shortage of vaccine supplies. And, people aged 45 and above are also finding it difficult to get their second dose in several regions.
Earlier in December last year, Wockhardt Ltd. had already offered its vaccine manufacturing facility in Aurangabad to the Indian government or any other vaccine developer for mass production of vaccines to counter the deadly virus.