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Open up licensing to develop vaccines and accelerate vaccination drive, demand medical experts

Companies other than Bharat Biotech must be given contracts to manufacture the indigenously developed Covaxin in bulk. This is the time to open licensing to any company that wants to produce vaccines and for anyone who wants to take a jab, per doctors.

May 05, 2021 / 12:43 PM IST

The trillion-Rupee question haunting COVID-19-ravaged India today is this: why are companies other than Bharat Biotech [Bharat Biotech International or BBIL] not been given contracts to manufacture the indigenously developed Covaxin in bulk?

After all, that should have been the natural response of any government, instead of continuing with a tiny, 12.5-million-doses-a-month that the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is coughing out at the present movement.

It hardly needs a rocket scientist to calculate that India, now the second worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic after the US, as some naysayers had dourly predicted earlier, is in dire need of mass immunisation, perhaps the biggest the world has ever seen, if it is to counter the COVID tsunami, not just the Second, but potentially a Third Wave as well.

The ability to carry out the world’s largest mass vaccination exercise in record time will depend on keeping vaccine supplies of hundreds of millions of doses flowing uninterruptedly for months.