Mangaluru, May 18, 2021: As the country is affected by acute vaccine shortage, Karnataka is set to play host to facilities involved in manufacturing two Covid vaccines — Covaxin and Sputnik V.
While the Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) facility is being established in Malur of Kolar district, Shilpa Biologicals Pvt Ltd (SBPL) is expected to manufacture Sputnik V from its R&D facility in Dharwad.
According to Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar, Bharat Biotech has expressed confidence in producing nearly 5 crore Covaxin doses a month by the end of August, beginning at the pace of 1 crore doses per month by the end of June.
“They have assured me that their facility at Malur in Kolar will be able to produce 1 crore doses of the vaccine by the end of June. By July end, it will be enhanced to around three crore doses, as their manufacturing target by the end of August is 4 to 5 crore vaccine doses,” Sudhakar said on Monday. He added that he discussed the same over a video conference with Bharat Biotech founder Krishna Ella, his daughter Jala Ella, and the team.
He added that the state was looking to get people vaccinated on priority. “The company has assured that they will supply vaccines to Karnataka at the earliest,” Sudhakar said.
Meanwhile, SBPL has said in a regulatory filing that its targeted production of the dual vector Sputnik V for the first 12 months is 50 million doses from the beginning of commercial production.
SBPL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the drug firm Shipa Medicare, which according to the company, has entered into a three-year definitive agreement with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for production and supply of the Sputnik V vaccine from its integrated biologics.
“The targeted production of the dual vector Sputnik V for the first 12 months is 50 million doses (50 million of component 1 and 50 million of component 2), from the date of start of commercial production,” the company noted in its filing. The transfer of the Sputnik technology is expected to be facilitated by Dr Reddy’s as per the company.
To date, Karnataka has inoculated 1.12 crore doses of vaccines cumulatively of which 87.43 lakh were first and another 25.17 lakh were second doses used to inoculate people from across priority and age groups, since January 16 this year.
As per statistics issued by the Health Department, while 74.34 lakh people aged 45 and above have received their first jab, only 18.60 lakh of them have been administered with the second dose, as on Monday (May 17). Over 1.17 lakh people from the 18 to 44 age group, meanwhile, have received the first dose of vaccine so far.