Serum Institute Fire To Affect Production Of BCG & Rotavirus Vaccines

Pune: The fire at Serum Institute of India (SII) that killed five workers on Thursday won’t result in any loss of Covishield coronavirus vaccine due to “multiple production buildings”, but will have an impact on BCG and rotavirus vaccines.

In a statement on Friday, SII said it has “suffered financial losses due to the fire that broke in an under-installation building of SII plant at Manjari, Pune, and this will impact production of BCG and rota vaccines in the future.”

SII, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, is manufacturing Covishield, which has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Covishield, one of two vaccines approved for emergency use in India till now, is being exported to several other countries as well.

The BCG and rotavirus vaccines are both part of India’s national immunisation programme. While BCG vaccine prevents tuberculosis and is administered to newborns, rotavirus is given in three doses to children from 6 to 14 weeks of age to prevent severe diarrhoea.

Production will be impacted due to loss of high-end equipment and world-class machinery that was being installed for production of BCG and rotavirus vaccines.

“Now, we need to start the same process from scratch after the renovation of the affected site,” The Print quoted an SII official as saying.

“The fire had broken out in the upper floors of the building where the installation process was in progress. The lower floors are already occupied by laboratories for rotavirus and BCG,” the official added.

Also Read: Serum Institute Fire Doused, But 5 Workers Lose Lives

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