Government orders 66 crore vaccine doses worth Rs 14,505 crore | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The government is placing its largest order yet of Covid vaccines at 66 crore doses worth Rs 14,505 crore to procure Covishield and Covaxin shots that will help it to substantially meet the vaccine availability projections it had made in the Supreme Court.
The order is in line with the Centre’s estimate of 135 crore doses being available between August-December as stated in its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court on June 26. Apart from the order for 66 crore doses, the government has made an advance payment to reserve 30 crore doses of Hyderabad based Biological-E’s Corbevax vaccine, official sources said.
This means a total of 96 crore doses are expected to be available on account of government procurement during August-December. While the 96 crore doses comprises Centre’s share of 75% of the total manufactured doses, the private sector will also have another 22 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin available during the period.
The order and other anticipated supplies, said officials, will help India remain on track to ensure vaccination for the 18+plus population by the year-end.
The total production of Covishield and Covaxin in August-December is placed at 88 crore doses. Despite a shortfall of around 3.5 crore doses in July, Covaxin production is put at 38 crore in this period, slightly less than the 40 crore mentioned in the SC affidavit. The glitches in its production are understood to have been sorted out.
Apart from Covishield, Covaxin and Corbevax, the government’s estimate of 135 crore doses also included Sputnik V and Zydus Cadila’s vaccine. While Sputnik V locally manufactured supplies are yet to start, Cadila’s approval is pending. Ten crore Sputnik and five crore Cadila are estimated to be available this year, according to the Centre’s affidavit.
“Government has already made an advance payment 96 doses and another 22 crore doses will be available for the private sector, thus securing a large bulk of the expected supply well in advance,” said an official source.
The order assumes significance as it assures a supply of jabs to ensure ramping up of vaccination drive amid fear of a third wave. The government aims to inoculate the entire adult population above 18 years age by December. A total of 39.49 crore doses have been administered across the country till Thursday 7pm.
The Centre has indicated availability of 13.5 crore doses during July, which would translate into an average 50 lakh doses per day. While daily vaccinations have been modest in July so far with a little over 5 crore doses given so far in the month, the states have been asked to ramp up sessions along with that in the private sector where pick up has been slow so far.
While some states have raised concerns about irregular supplies of jabs, the health ministry has emphasised on advance planning and logistics management to ensure that neither people are turned away nor doses are wasted. The health ministry indicates availability of doses to states 15 days in advance to enable planning of vaccination centres and sessions accordingly.

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