About a week back Poonawalla had told Business Standard that the US restrictions were hampering the production scale up of the Novavax vaccine at Pune. The firm has collaborated with US company Novavax to make its vaccine here, supply to Covax at $3 per dose, and also supply to India and globally. SII has also started bridging clinical trials of the vaccine here.
SII’s target production is 50 million doses of Novavax vaccine per month once it reaches peak capacity.
“The US has invoked the Defence Act and banned export of raw materials. This is as good as banning vaccines. All vaccine producers are facing difficulties because of this,” Poonawalla had said. It has already stalled the Novavax vaccine’s production. “Stock-piling of Novavax would happen to the tune of 50 per cent more if we had access to US raw materials. Till the month of April, it was not really coming in the way. From this month onwards, whatever we stockpile of Novavax would be half of what we could do, had it not been for US restrictions,” he had said.
SII is now working on developing new vendors for raw materials it imports from the US like filters, bags, certain media solutions, etc.
Sources also indicated that Bharat Biotech is facing challenges in procuring the adjuvant used in the vaccine. Bharat Biotech is using an adjuvant from Kansas-based ViroVax for its vaccine. Adjuvants are pharmacological or immunological agents that improve the immune response of a vaccine. They may be added to a vaccine to produce more antibodies and tp ensure longer lasting immunity, thus minimising the dose of antigen needed.
Krishna Ella, CMD, Bharat Biotech has said several raw materials to make vaccines were imported. The preservatives come from Germany and some raw material from the US.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.