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Govt orders 44 cr doses of Covaxin, Covishield

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

216 cr dosages will be made available between August and Dec, Govt had said earlier

After claiming that 216 crore dosages will be made available for vaccination between August and December, the Government on Tuesday said it has placed orders for 44 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin to be delivered during that period.

In total, 127.6 crore vaccines will be supplied to the Centre, including the  previous orders, said Dr VK Paul, member (Health) Niti  Aayog, at a Press conference here.

Additionally, 30 per cent of advance for procurement of both the vaccines has been released to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, a move aimed to fast track the availability of the jabs.

Dr Paul said a few days ago, an advance order to purchase 30 crore doses was placed with Biological E’s vaccine, which will be available by September. “By July, we hope to get 53.6 crore doses of vaccines,” said Dr VK Paul.

On May 14, Dr Paul at the Press conference said at least 216 crore doses are likely to be produced between August and December, including 75 crore doses of Covishield and 55 core doses of Covaxin. Presently, only these two vaccines are being provided under the national vaccination programme that was launched on January 16. Dr Paul had also said Russian anti-Covid vaccine Sputnik V will be made available by May 22, but it is yet to make its entry in the market.

On Tuesday, Dr Paul maintained, “In immediate follow-up of the Prime Minister’s announcement of these changes in the guidelines of national Covid vaccination programme yesterday, the Centre has placed an order with Serum Institute of India for 25 crore doses of Covishield and with Bharat Biotech for 19 crore doses of Covaxin. Additionally, 30 per cent of the advance for procurement of both the Covid vaccines has been released to the two manufacturers.”

More orders could be placed with both the companies as the 18-44 age group has been also added under the Centre’s responsibility, Dr Paul said as he pointed out “the Centre has been supporting the efforts of States and Union Territories for an effective vaccination drive under the “whole of Government approach” since January 16 this year”.

 Based on various representations received by the Centre, the vaccination for all adults above 18 years of age was opened in the Phase III of vaccination strategy beginning May 1.

 “Now with the aim to further universalise the countrywide vaccination drive, all citizens above 18 years of age can receive the Covid-19 vaccine doses free of cost at Government health facilities,” the official said.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the Central Government will provide free coronavirus vaccines to States and Union Territories for inoculation of all above 18 years of age from June 21, as he announced that the Centre will take over the 25 per cent State procurement quota.

Asserting that vaccine supply would be increased significantly in the coming days, the prime minister said the Centre has now decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers for free supply to states, while private sector hospitals will continue to procure the remaining 25 per cent.

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