Govt sets up two new laboratories at Pune and Hyderabad for COVID Vaccine Testing
New Delhi, July 4, 2021
The Government has set up two new vaccine testing facilities as Central Drug Laboratories in Pune and Hyderabad for batch testing and quality control of vaccines with funding support from the PM CARES Fund Trust.
The facilities have been established by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology in its Autonomous Research Institutes -- National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, and National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad.
An official press release said that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and considering the enhanced production of COVID vaccines, the Government proactively took the decision of setting up additional laboratories to facilitate expedited testing and pre-release certification of the 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.
The release said that, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DBT has been in the forefront, contributing to various COVID-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 advancement of cutting-edge research output in frontier areas of Biotechnology relevant to human health and disease.
The facility at NCCS, Pune, has now been notified as Central Drugs Laboratory for testing and lot release of COVID-19 vaccines. The facility at NIAB, Hyderabad is likely to receive necessary notification shortly.
"With generous support from PM CARES Fund trust in a very short span of time, both the institutions through relentless efforts have set up the state-of-the-art modern facilities for this purpose. 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 demand of the Nation. 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," the release said.