One more lab to now test, release Covid-19 vaccines

A staff member checks the packaging quality of COVID-19 inactivated vaccine products at a packaging plant of the Beijing Biological Products Institute Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm, in Beijing Dec. 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)
Representative image: IANS

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Monday approved one more laboratory for batch testing and release of Covid vaccines to strengthen and speed up the mass vaccination drive, an official statement said.

The Ministry approved and authorised the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad, as a Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) for testing and lot release of Covid-19 vaccines.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had furnished a draft notification to the Health Ministry for notifying the NIAB as a CDL.

In order to discuss various aspects of Covid-19 vaccination distribution in India, a meeting was organised under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary on November 11, 2020, and ministries and departments like the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) were asked to apprise the Health Ministry if any of their labs can be converted for being used as a CDL.

After due deliberations, the DBT proposed two laboratories, namely the NIAB and the National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune for this purpose. Funds were arranged from Prime Minister Cares trust for upgradation of these two laboratories.

The NCCS, Pune was approved as a CDL on June 28 this year.

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