New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the resurgence in coronavirus cases across the country which is registering over 2 lakh fresh COVID-19 infections daily, the Centre on Thursday granted permission to Mumbai-based Haffkine Institute to manufacture Bharat BioTech's anti-COVID vaccine 'Covaxin' on the basis of transfer of technology.

Following the approval, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Haffkine Institute is owned by the Maharashtra government and the approval also came after a request by Uddhav Thackeray to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Maharashtra government made the announcement regarding the approval through their official Twitter handle.

"The Dept of Science and Technology, Government of India, has granted approval to Haffkine Institute to produce Bharat Biotech''s Covaxin vaccine on a transfer of technology basis," the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office tweeted, adding "CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has thanked Prime Minister for approving this request".

Earlier Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had requested the Centre to grant permission to Haffkine Instituite to manufacture the Covaxin vaccine against the deadly COVID-19 which has so far killed over 1.73 lakh people in the country and afflicted more than 1.40 crore so far. At present, Covaxin is manufactured by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.

Tha Haffkine Institute had in January sought permission from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for transfer of technology. However, no response ws given by the ICMR at that time. In March, the Haffkine Institute reiterated its request and said that if it is not granted permission to manufacture the vaccine, it can fill and finish operations of the Covid vaccine, where it will only fill vaccines in bottles and make them ready for dispatch.

This comes days after many states including Punjab, Maharashtra reported vaccine shortage earlier this month. According to reports, several beneficiaries were turned away from these states due to the shortfall of vaccine stocks. However, the Centre had vehemently denied the claims of vaccine shortage and blamed the states for wasting vaccines.

Meanwhile, India has been witnessing an alarming surge in COVID-9 cases where the fresh infections have doubled in last 10 days. India on Thursday reported over 2 lakh new COVID-19 cases taking the overall caseload in the country to over 1.40 crore while 1,038 new fatalities on Thursday took the death toll above 1.73 lakh.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan