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Last Updated : Aug 03, 2020 03:37 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Wockhardt enters deal with UK govt to fill finish Oxford coronavirus vaccine

As part of the deal, Wockhardt will fill Oxford's coronavirus vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca in vials at its plant before shipping it out for vaccination.

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Drugmaker Wockhardt on August 3 said it has entered into an agreement with the UK Government to fill finish COVID-19 vaccines.

Fill finish means Wockhardt will receive the bulk vaccine from vaccine manufacturers such as AstraZeneca and fill it into vials at its plant before shipping it for vaccination.

The manufacturing will be undertaken at CP Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Wockhardt based in Wrexham, North Wales.

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As per the terms of the agreement the company has reserved manufacturing capacity to allow for the supply of multiple vaccines to the UK Government in its fight against COVID-19, including AZD1222, the vaccine co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spinout company, Vaccitech and licensed by AstraZeneca.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The company declined to provide financial value of the contract.

The agreement is for 30 million doses, which can be expanded to 400 million doses in the UK.

Habil Khorakiwala, Founder Chairman of Wockhardt said the company has total capacity in the UK and India to fill and finish one billion doses of vaccine.

Khorakiwala said Wockhardt has offered its Aurangabad vaccine manufacturing facility to the Indian government.

“We are proud to be collaborating with the UK Government to make vaccines available and the arrangement brings in a huge sense of purpose and pride, it upholds our ongoing commitment to the fight against such a pandemic of global human importance,” Khorakiwala said.

Shares of Wockhardt surged 10 percent to hit their upper circuit at Rs 303.40 on the BSE in intraday trade after the vaccine partnership with the UK government.
First Published on Aug 3, 2020 03:35 pm
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