The company explained that different kinds of bovine and other animal serum were standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth. Vero cells are used to establish cell lines that help in the production of vaccines.
Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said Covaxin did not contain newborn calf serum and it was not an ingredient used in the final formulation of the Covid-19 vaccine. The company was responding to social media posts on the composition of Covaxin which said it contained newborn calf serum.
“Newborn calf serum is used in the manufacturing of viral vaccines. It is used for the growth of cells, but it has neither been used in the growth of the SARS CoV2 virus, nor the final formulation. Covaxin is highly purified to contain only the inactivated virus components by removing all other impurities. Bovine serum is widely used in the manufacture of vaccines globally for several decades,” the company said.
The usage of newborn calf serum was transparently documented in many publications over the last nine months, it added.
The company explained that different kinds of bovine and other animal serum were standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth. Vero cells are used to establish cell lines that help in the production of vaccines. This technique has been used for decades in polio, rabies and influenza vaccines, the company said.
The vero cells, after the growth, are washed with water and chemicals many times to make them free from the newborn calf serum. Thereafter, these vero cells are infected with the coronavirus for viral growth. The vero cells are destroyed in the process of viral growth. The grown virus is also killed and purified. This killed virus is then used to make the final vaccine, and in the final vaccine formulation no calf serum is used, the company said.