Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday requesting the Centre to increase its allocation of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) for the state. He also asked for the government to direct Bharat Biotech and ICMR-NIV to transfer the Covaxin manufacturing technology and provide the viral strain to “whoever is interested and capable of manufacturing the vaccine” so that the production could be ramped up.
The Chief Minister informed that, “the average count of cases per day over the last seven days stands at 20,300 and as of today we have 1,86,695 active cases. We have taken all the steps necessary to prevent further infections and provide quality treatment, care and support. While certain temporary measures like curfew, restrictions are taken up, the ultimate solution is in vaccinating every individual as early as possible. One of the measures we have been striving for is to provide vaccine doses to all eligible and vulnerable populations as per national guidelines at the earliest opportunity. We have in the past been able to demonstrate capability of administering over 6 lakh vaccinations per day. However, due to the short supply of vaccine we are not able to vaccinate our population at large.”
The CM appealed to the PM thus: “Under your leadership, COVAXIN, India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV). This is manufactured currently at the Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containment facility. The Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) gave Emergency use Authorization to COVAXIN in January 2021.
“It has also been announced from your good office to increase the production of COVAXIN. It is learnt that at present the total manufacturing capacity of this vaccine doesn’t cater to the country’s requirement. It may take several months to get all vaccinated at this pace. Considering that the COVAXIN manufacturing is intended to be ramped up, we would request you to please direct Bharat Biotech to do technology transfer of manufacturing the COVAXIN and ICMR-NIV to provide the viral strain to whoever interested and capable of manufacturing the vaccine.”
The CM also requested the PM to explore the possibility of involving all such production firms and enable them with the technology, IPR etc., to deliver the vaccine as quickly and as affordable as possible. “This shall ensure that IPRs/Patents etc., if any, are not a hindrance. Anyone who can manufacture or is interested to manufacture the vaccine should be encouraged to do so in the larger public interest. Entire manufacturing capacity should be mobilized and put to use in these testing times.
“I, therefore, request your consideration and intervention and if implemented will go a long way in encouraging the manufacturers and accelerate the supply of vaccines to be made available to the population at large. I look forward to your favorable orders on this matter,” pleaded thus the CM with the PM.