New Delhi: Union Home Affairs minister G. Kishan Reddy on 16 May said the Central government would take all necessary steps to ensure that all vaccinations are completed by December. So far, the Centre has provided free vaccines to 18 crore people in the country.
The minister said that in order to give two doses of the vaccine to 130 crore people in the country, around 300 crore doses would have to be prepared. He said the Pune-based Serum Institute had teamed up with the US-based Astrazeneca to manufacture Covishield and other companies were also seeking formula patent rights to make the vaccine.
According to Mr. Reddy, the Serum Institute will increase the dose by 11.50 crore per month by December, producing 6.5 crore per month in May and June. Meanwhile, four companies - Indian Immunologicals Limited, Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation, Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited, and Gujarat Biotech – have been roped in to manufacture Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
Mr. Reddy said the company will start production from September and produce 15.50 crore doses per month by December. Zydas Cedila has been manufacturing products since September, Hyderabad Biological E and Johnson & Johnson will start production of the single-dose vaccine from September, while the Serum Institute will manufacture another product Novavax, with a total of 16 companies exporting their products to India.
According to the minister, 259.22 crore vaccine doses are being produced in India from May to December. He added that around 8.80 crore doses of vaccine in May, 10 crore in June, 17.8 crore in July, 19.16 crore in August, 42.12 crore in September, 46.72 crore in October November 56.2 crores.
He said that China ranks first in the world with 30 crore in vaccination, followed by the United States with 26 crore and India with 18 crore. Mr. Reddy assured that there was no need to worry as the Central government will give the vaccine to everyone from Delhi to the last farmer in the hamlet. He added that 50% of the vaccine being produced will be procured by the Central government and sent directly to the states while various states and pharma companies can also procure the vaccine directly through global tenders.