The Indian government is doling out ₹1500 crore to reserve 300 million of Biological-E’s COVID-19 vaccine doses

The Indian government is doling out ₹1500 crore to reserve 300 million of Biological-E’s COVID-19 vaccine doses
BCCL
  • The Indian government is booking 300 million doses of Biological-E’s COVID-19 vaccine in advance in the face of a massive shortage.
  • Biological-E’s candidate will be the second ‘made-in-India’ vaccine to hit the market after Bharat Biotech.
  • The government is shelling out a massive ₹1500 crore to secure the doses.
In a bid to meet the increasing demand for the Coronavirus vaccine, the Indian government is shelling out ₹1,500 crore to secure 300 million doses of Biological-E’s COVID-19 vaccine in advance.

The price of Biological-E’s vaccine is not publicly known, but according to the company, it is aiming to be one of the ‘ most affordable’ options in the country.

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This will be the second domestically developed vaccine to hit the market, once approved, after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The vaccine candidate, which is modelled after the Hepatitis E vaccine, is currently undergoing Phase III of its clinical trials.

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“The proposal of M/s Biological-E was examined and recommended for approval after due diligence by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC),” said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in a statement.

Biological-E is developing the vaccine in association with the Baylor College of Medicine in the US and already has two agreements in place to manufacture the vaccine in India — one with Canada-based Providence Therapeutics Holdings and another with Johnson & Johnson.

Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India (SII) also received advances to book vaccine doses for the Indian government, but that was only after the nation-wide vaccine drive was in full swing in April.

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According to India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company will start manufacturing and stockpiling doses somewhere between August and December 2021.


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