In order to boost the availability of vaccines, the Modi government has taken the decision to transfer the technology of Covaxine, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), to other Indian PSUs.
Bharat Biotech is a private company but the vaccine developed by it was in collaboration with ICMR, a public sector medical research institution. Thus, the Government of India reserves the rights to transfer the intellectual property rights of this collaborative product to other PSUs.
Doctor Harsh Vardhan, the health minister of India, tweeted that the government is making tremendous efforts in order to boost the production of indigenously developed vaccines and provide timely approval to foreign vaccines.
Contrary to certain reports, GoI is working proactively to enhance basket & supply of #COVID19vaccines
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) May 13, 2021
The Health Minister also shared a press release by PIB with the details of the technology transfer by the government, according to which two union PSUs and one state PSU are being involved to boost vaccine production.
“Government of India, as part of its policy to augment the domestic production of Covid-19 vaccine, has proactively encouraged Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) as well as private companies to enter into technology transfer agreements with Indian vaccine manufacturers. Two Central Government PSUs, namely, Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) and BIBCOL have entered into a technology transfer agreement with Bharat Biotech. In addition, one State Government Undertaking, namely, Haffkine Institute, has also entered into a technology transfer agreement with Bharat Biotec,” reads the press release shared by Hardhs Vardhan.
“All these technology transfer agreements have been actively promoted and assisted by the Government of India. The Union Government has also extended substantial financial assistance to all the above 3 Undertakings. As a result of this proactive intervention of the Central Government, Indian Immunologicals Limited will be in a position to start production of Covaxin from September 2021, while Haffkine Institute and BIBCOL will start production of Covaxin from November 2021,” it adds.
Some other PSUs are also going to be involved by the Government of India, and in the coming weeks, many other companies, especially state PSUs will get involved in the production process. This will ensure that almost every state has its own vaccination factory and the issues related to logistics would also be minimized.
On the import and availability of foreign vaccines, the press release reads, “Under the new policy, 100 per cent doses of imported and ready to use foreign vaccine will be available for other than Government of India channel comprising State Governments, private hospitals and hospitals of industrial establishments. The new Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy also Incentivized in terms of prices to attract private manufacturers including offshore vaccine manufacturers to enter the country.”
“Government of India is proactively engaging with foreign vaccine manufacturers like Moderna, Pfizer etc., to apply for Emergency Use Authorization in India so that these vaccines can be easily imported and made available in India,” it adds.
With the rapid progress on the vaccination front, the country would have surplus vaccines because a large number of new vaccines are coming out and the production of the already approved ones is also growing exponentially. The Modi government is taking every necessary step to ensure that India comes out of the second wave as soon as possible, and there will be universal vaccination in the next few months. The Universal vaccination means India would not have to face any other devastating wave of the Coronavirus.