For smooth supply of COVID vaccine, Centre directs NIB to assist Central Drugs Laboratory

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Representative Image

New Delhi [India], November 25 (ANI): Keeping in view that the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine is not affected and it remains available to the public, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday directed the National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), Noida, to perform the function of Central Drugs Laboratory as an additional facility for testing the COVID-19 vaccine.

"In the exercise of the powers conferred by sections 6 and 26B, read with section 33P, of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and rule 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, the central government, hereby directs that the National Institute of Biologicals, Noida, in addition to its existing functions, shall perform the function of Central Drugs Laboratory... in respect of the COVID-19 vaccine," the latest gazette notification issued by the Union Health Ministry said.

It clarified in case of any inconsistency between this notification and any rule made under the said Act, the provisions of this notification shall prevail in the public interest so as to meet the requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The notification will remain in force for a period up to November 30, 2021.

"In the public interest, it is necessary and expedient to regulate the testing of the COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention and management of the infection," the notification further stated.

The NIB was set up in 1992. It is an apex autonomous institute under the administrative control of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Institute is performing the primary statutory function of quality control of biologicals like insulin, erythropoietin, blood products, diagnostic kits in accordance with provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rule, 1945, amended from time to time.

Currently, the Central Drugs Laboratory at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh does all types of vaccine testing. (ANI)