Bharat Biotech may begin paediatric trials of its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin from June, said the company's Business Development and International Advocacy Head Dr Raches Ella on Sunday.


Holding a virtual conversation with members of FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) Hyderabad on "All About Vaccines", he said that the company expected approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Covaxin by the end of the third or fourth quarter.

"I am happy that our hard work is paying off well as the vaccine is working well and saving lives. We have this good feeling when we go back home from work each day. We will be soon ramping up our manufacturing capacity to 700 million doses by the end of this year," informed Dr. Raches Ella as a response to a question from a participant. 

"We are happy to have the full support of the government because of which we are able to stand where we are today in this journey. The vaccine is co-developed by us and ICMR. The Government placed an advanced purchase order of Rs 1,500 crores. This will help us to increase our risk appetite. That is why we are expanding to Bangalore and Gujarat," informed the young executive of Bharath Biotech.

Dr Ella exuded confidence that vaccines for kids may get the license in the third quarter of this year. "We focused on developing the product last year. Now our focus is on ramping up our manufacturing capacity. Kids vaccine trials of Bharath Biotech may get the license in the third quarter of this year," said Dr Ella.

Ella also said Bharat Biotech will be ramping up the manufacturing capacity of Covaxin to 700 million doses by the end of this year. 

Speaking about herd immunity Dr Raches said, "If the majority of the population are inoculated the virus does not spread and that is when we will achieve herd immunity. When asked about cross-matching of different vaccines he said as of now no mix and match. The studies are on. If proved well, then we can take a call in the future." 

About WHO approval he said we have initiated the process and may get its approval soon. A few of our products in the past got their approval. We expect approval for Covaxin by the end of Q (quarter)3 or Q 4.