In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and considering the enhanced production of COVID vaccines, the government has set up two laboratories to facilitate expedited testing/pre-release certification of the vaccines, informed the Union Ministry of Science and Technology on Sunday.
According to the ministry, the Government of India has set up two vaccine testing facilities including one at Autonomous Research Institutes National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, and another at National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) Hyderabad as Central Drug Laboratory (CDL), for batch testing and quality control of vaccines.
Currently, the nation has a Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) at Kasauli, which is the National Control Laboratory for testing and pre-release certification of Immunobiologicals (vaccines and antisera) meant for human use in India, it said.
Accordingly, with funding support provided by the PM-CARES Funds trust, two new vaccine testing facilities have been set up as Central Drug laboratories at DBT- NCCS, and DBT-NIAB, said the ministry.
It stated that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Biotechnology has been at the forefront contributing to various COVID-19 related activities including Vaccine Development, Diagnostics and testing, bio-banking and genomic surveillance, in addition to fundamental research and also building a strong ecosystem for translational research.
DBT-NCCS and DBT-NIAB have been the pillars for many aspects of infectious disease-related work in India and have contributed to the advancement of cutting-edge research output in frontier areas of Biotechnology relevant to human health and disease.
The ministry stated that the facility at NCCS, Pune, has now been notified as Central Drugs Laboratory for testing and lot release of COVID-19 vaccines vide. Gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on June 28, 2021, it said.
The facility at NIAB, Hyderabad is likely to receive necessary notification shortly, it added.
As per the ministry, with generous support from PM CARES Fund trust in a very short span of time, both the institutions through relentless efforts have set up state-of-the-art modern facilities for this purpose.
It stated that the facilities are expected to test approximately 60 batches of vaccines per month. The facilities are geared up to test existing COVID-19 vaccines and other newer COVID-19 vaccines as per the demand of the nation, it said.
This will not only expedite the vaccine manufacture and supply but also be logistically convenient considering that both Pune and Hyderabad are the two Vaccine manufacturing hubs, stated the ministry.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)