Russia has reached out to the Kerala government for exploring the potential for setting up a manufacturing unit for its Sputnik V vaccine.
The matter is before the government, and a decision remains to be taken. Any such decision will be subject to the approval of the Central government since a foreign State is involved.
“We have been approached with enquiries over whether we can provide facilities for such a manufacturing unit though no formal discussions have been held yet. The State government is in the process of taking a decision,” said top government sources.
Though the State has set up a working group for holding talks with vaccine companies for opening manufacturing facilities, the proposal for a potential manufacturing unit for Sputnik V is being taken up directly at the government level, as it went beyond the mandate of the group.
Sputnik V is being made available at ₹1,145 through private hospitals in the State.
The working group, however, had held discussions with around 10 vaccine manufacturing companies so far. “The discussions were predominantly on ascertaining the requirements of the companies and the kind of facilitation they were expecting from the government, as the State is new to the vaccine manufacturing industry. It emerged that the industry is a risky one with specific needs, based on which we have submitted a proposal to the government. Once it receives approval, expressions of interest will be invited,” working group sources said.
The government has earmarked 198 acres of the Life Science Park with basic infrastructure, including road, water, and power connectivity, at Thonnakkal in Thiruvananthapuram for setting up vaccine manufacturing facilities.
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