UK announces Covid vaccination contract extension with Wockhardt

Wockhardt, the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology major headquartered in Mumbai, on Wednesday announced that it has been awarded a six-month extension of its agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) government to fill-finish Covid-19 vaccines.

This expands the original agreement from 18 to 24 months that is, until August 2022 and the manufacturing would continue to be undertaken at CP Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Wockhardt based in Wrexham, North Wales.

UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, on a visit to Mumbai as part of a drive to improve business links between the UK and India, announced the extension and said, “This is a brilliant bit of news for the UK and the people of Wrexham. It brings important investment to the local area, jobs and security to the community as we battle this awful pandemic. Wockhardt’s investment shows the strength of our trading ties with India which is a further boost to our already strong vaccine supply as we bounce back stronger from coronavirus.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “While the UK’s vaccination programme has been a national success story so far, we need to take steps to ensure we can manufacture vaccines into 2022, should we need to revaccinate or provide boost to the population. By extending our contract with Wockhardt, we will ensure the UK has uninterrupted fill and finish capacity, guaranteeing we have sufficient supplies to protect the British public in the long-term.”

Habil Khorakiwala, Founder Chairman of the Wockhardt Group, said, “We are happy to extend our collaboration with the UK government to make vaccines available and the arrangement brings in a huge sense of purpose and pride, it upholds our ongoing global commitment to fight against an unprecedented pandemic.”

Murtaza Khorakiwala, Managing Director and Global CEO of Wockhardt, added, “The extension of the arrangement with the UK government for manufacturing vaccines for Covid-19 showcases our global strength in world-class sterile injectable facilities and confidence by the UK government on our expertise and experience.”

Speaking about the contract, Ravi Limaye, Managing Director, Wockhardt UK, said, “This extension by the UK government displays our collaboration and commitment in the vital role that we have been playing in the fill-finish process for Covid-19 vaccines in UK.”

In the UK, Wockhardt is one of the largest suppliers into the National Health Service (NHS) for more than 20 years, and has had a presence in Wrexham for more than two decades. It employs more than 400 people at its 6,12,000 square feet high-tech manufacturing facility.