Corona Vaccine Production At Haffkine Only On Paper, Wait Continues 1.5 Years After MoU

Mumbai, 16th January 2023: After the discovery of the corona vaccine, the then-state government announced that the corona vaccine would be produced through Haffkine within a year. For this, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed with Bharat Biotech Private Limited Company to set up a ‘BSL’ laboratory at this place and manufacture vaccines in it. But not a single brick of the laboratory has been laid yet.

Researchers succeeded in finding a vaccine against Corona in 2021 when there was a major outbreak of Corona around the world. Subsequently, the manufacturing of vaccines Covaxin and Covishield was started in India by Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute respectively. But considering the shortage of vaccines, the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to manufacture vaccines through Haffkine. Accordingly, approval was also received from the Central Government and ‘ICMR’ to set up this laboratory in April 2021. Also agreed with Bharat Biotech Company along with immediate efforts to get necessary permissions. Out of 154 crore rupees, 87 crores from the central government and 56 crores from the state government were to be provided for the construction of the up-to-date BSL-3 laboratory. The aim was to set up a laboratory within the year and make 228 million vaccines every year. Space for the laboratory was also determined by Haffkine. But due to the government’s finger-licking policy, not a single brick was laid at that place.

Apart from corona, other vaccines can also be prepared in the BSL 3 laboratory. Therefore, while this laboratory is very important not only for Maharashtra but for the country, the construction of this laboratory has been neglected, and it has remained only on paper.