New Delhi: In view of enhanced vaccine production, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has set up two additional facilities to expedite testing and pre-release certification of the vaccines, according to a statement on Sunday.

Currently, the country has a Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) at Kasauli, which is the National Control Laboratory for issuing testing and pre-release certification of immunobiologicals (vaccines and antisera) meant for human use in India.

“The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, has set up two vaccine-testing facilities in its autonomous research institutes — National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, and National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad — as central drugs laboratory for batch testing and quality control of vaccines,” the statement said.

The two new vaccine testing facilities have been set up as CDL with funding support from the PM-CARES Funds trust, it added.

According to the statement, while the facility at NCCS, Pune, has been notified as CDL for testing and lot release of COVID-19 vaccines the one at NIAB, Hyderabad, is likely to receive necessary notification shortly.

The facilities are expected to test approximately 60 batches of vaccines each month. They are geared up to test existing COVID-19 vaccines and other newer Covid vaccines according to demand.

“This will not only expedite the vaccine manufacture and supply but also be logistically convenient considering that both Pune and Hyderabad are the vaccine-manufacturing hubs,” the statement added.


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