Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices (HMD), one of the largest global manufacturers of disposable and auto-disabled (AD) syringes, is scaling up its production capacity by 300 million to one billion by the first half of 2021 from the current 700 million syringes a year, as India is getting ready for COVID-19 vaccine immunisation.
"We are waiting on the Indian government to start creating a stockpile of syringes as being done by other countries. Should the government need 100 million auto-disable syringes for COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this year, we can easily offer them as we have nearly 50 million in stock, as the government has not timely lifted orders for standard immunisation injection campaigns which were suspended after onset of COVID-19," said Rajiv Nath, Managing Director, Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices.
He said HMD has received orders from UNICEF to supply AD syringes for around 300 million to build up a stockpile of around 140 million syringes for COVID-19 by the end of the year. The World Health Organisation(WHO) WHO and UNICEF recommend to use auto-disable syringes for administering vaccines, particularly in mass immunisation programs. After COVID-19, the focus has shifted to single use disposable consumables from reuse consumables and especially a change has been seen in higher deployment of auto-disable syringes even for curative injections. WHO also recommends the use of auto-disable syringes to collect blood samples of COVID-19 patients. At least 60 to 70 per cent of 1.3 billion people in India and 7.8 billion people worldwide will need syringes for COVID-19 vaccine.
HMD has over nine plants and owns syringe brands DispoVan, which has over 60 per cent market share and Kojak, with 70 per cent market share in AD syringes. It is one of the largest suppliers to UNICEF for Auto Disable syringes for immunisation and is the first company in India to manufacture auto disable syringes for curative segment.
At least nine out of 142 vaccines being developed across the world, including three from India, are in advanced stages of trials, targeting to have at least a few vaccines in the market by year end.