Centre commits to vaccinate all adults by Dec 31

TV Jayan New Delhi | Updated on June 28, 2021

Its SC affidavit exposes slips by Bharat Bio in meeting the vaccine commitments

India’s Covid-19 vaccination programme may not be able to sustain the pace that it gathered in the recent days as the supply of vaccines may fall short of expectations of the States and Union Territories.

According to an affidavit filed by the Central government in the Supreme Court on Saturday, the total supply of vaccine doses in July will be 12 crore – hardly enough to clock a target of 40 lakh doses a day.

On June 21, States and UTs were able to vaccinate 88 lakh people, which was a record. States can expect a total of 12 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin in July, both in government and private sectors.


Fails to meet deadline

Bharat Biotech, the maker of Covaxin, has so far failed to keep to the committed deadlines.

As on June 21, the affidavit said Bharat Biotech is yet to supply close to 18.37 lakh committed under a purchase order on March 1.

In addition, Bharat Biotech has not supplied a single dose of 5 crore Covaxin doses it promised between May and July. Stating that the total adult population in the country is approximately 93-94 crore and to vaccinate of them as planned, the affidavit signed by Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry, said the country will require an estimated 186-188 crore vaccine doses till December 31.

Vaccines procured

Of this, the total quantity of vaccines procured till date was 35.6 crore and a delivery of another 16 crore doses – Covishield (11 crore), Covaxin (3 crore) and Sputnik V (2 crore) – is expected by July-end, the Centre said.

The affidavit also said the government has already received 31.5 lakh doses of first component of Sputnik V (meaning first dose) and 60,000 doses of the second component.

As per the government calculation, it is hopeful of getting hold of an additional 135 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines during five months beginning August 1.

Apart from 50 crore of Covishield and 40 crore of Covaxin, it has counted in 30 crore doses of Biological E subunit vaccine, 10 crore doses of Sputnik V and 5 crore of Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine.

The affidavit clarified that the estimate of 186.6 crore doses does not include other vaccines that are at various stages of development as on date within the country.

Published on June 27, 2021

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