The Minister was responding to a letter sent by Rajya Sabha MP, P. Wilson, seeking the production of COVID-19 vaccines at the facility
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, has said that the Pasteur Institute of India (PII) in Coonoor will be able to supply vaccines for the country’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) by the first half of 2023.
In a letter sent earlier this week in response to Rajya Sabha MP P. Wilson’s letter seeking the production of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines at PII, the Integrated Vaccine Complex (ICV) at Chengalpattu and the King Institute in Chennai, the Minister said that there were no bidders for manufacturing vaccines at the ICV.
While the DMK MP had pressed for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, the Minister said that PII will start supplying vaccines for the UIP, but did not mention if Covishield or Covaxin will be produced there.
He said that the Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT) vaccine facility at PII has been upgraded as per Current Good Manufacturing Practices. Pointing out that the facility was under the qualification stage at the moment, he said that the performance qualification of facilities, utilities and critical equipment will be completed by November 2021, following which production of a trial batches of the vaccines will be initiated
Regarding ICV, operated by HLL Biotech Limited, the Minister said that there were no bidders for it. Though a tender was floated in March 2021 for companies to use the facility for manufacturing vaccines, no bids were received despite the extension of the last date of submission of the tender from April 14, 2021 to May 21, 2021, he said. With respect to the King Institute, he pointed out that it was under the control of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
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