The production of Covaxin, a vaccine to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, will be “temporarily slowed down”, Bharat Biotech said in a statement on Friday night. It is reported that the vaccine maker has “completed its supply obligations to procurement agencies,” and it foresees a “decrease in demand”.

India has been reporting a fall in infections with less than 2,000 cases reported a day in the last two weeks. However, some countries have been witnessing a daily surge in COVID-19 cases that is driven by the BA.2 Omicron variant.

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In a statement, Bharat Biotech said, “For the coming period, the company will focus on pending facility maintenance, process and facility optimization activities. As all existing facilities were repurposed for the manufacture of Covaxin, with continuous production during the past year, to meet the public health emergency of COVID-19, these upgrades were due.”

It further said that Covaxin, India’s homegrown vaccine against COVID-19, is currently under the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing or EUL.

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“The company was also pleased to learn from the WHO, that the necessary optimisation work ‘does not indicate a change in the risk-benefit ratio (for Covaxin) and the data, available to WHO, indicates the vaccine is effective and no safety concern exists’,” the statement read.

The vaccine manufacturer is “working on further improvements and upgrades to ensure that the production of Covaxin continues to meet ever increasing global regulatory requirements,” it said.

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“More than 1 million doses of Covaxin were introduced under clinical trial mode, where safety of subjects was actively documented. Finally, Covaxin was extensively evaluated in around 30,000 subjects in more than 10 controlled clinical trials, resulting in more than 15 publications,” the vaccine manufacturer added.

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In 2021, Covaxin got the WHO’s approval. It is one of the two major vaccines that are being administered in India apart from the Serum Institute’s Covishield.