Bharat Biotech recruits 23,000 volunteers for Phase III trials of Covaxin . . Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 19 : In a bid to boost vaccine production amid rising Covid cases, the Centre has given in-principle approval for credit to vaccine-makers, the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, it was announced on Monday.

The Finance Ministry has approved sanction of Rs 3,000 crore credit for the Serum Institute and Rs 1,500 crore to Bharat Biotech, and the credit will be disbursed at the earliest.

Earlier, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, had suggested that the company would require around Rs 3,000 crore to increase production of Covid-19 vaccines.

Industry body FICCI also recently suggested that the government should provide incentives to vaccine manufacturers to increase the production of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

It recommended financing vaccine makers under a production linked incentive (PLI) type scheme.

The financial support came as the government decided to open up vaccination for all citizens above the age of 18 from May 1.

Further, the Health Ministry on Monday said that the National Vaccine Strategy aims at liberalised vaccine pricing and scaling up of vaccine coverage. This would augment vaccine production as well as availability, incentivising vaccine manufacturers to rapidly ramp up production as well as attract new vaccine manufacturers, domestic and international, said an official statement.

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