India is the largest producer of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, yet today it is struggling to provide vaccine to its own citizen. As the country battles with the pandemic, the Centre on May 13 said that over two billion doses will be made available in the country in five months between August and December.
According to reports, 51.6 crore doses have already been ordered to fulfill the demand till July.
Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog member and head of the National Expert Group for Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), said the Russian anti-Covid vaccine Sputnik V is likely to be available by next week. He also said that the estimated 216 crore doses that are likely to be produced between August and December include 75 crore doses of Covishield and 55 cores doses of Covaxin and assured that by the end of the year there will be enough vaccine doses in the country for the entire population.
The total number of doses available would further rise to around 300 crore by the end of the first quarter of 2022, he added.
He also mentioned that the government is looking at Biological E’s recombinant vaccine, being partnered with Baylor Medical College in the US, to provide 30 crore doses.
On the procurement of vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, Paul said the government is in touch with these firms through the Department of Biotechnology and the Ministry of External Affairs.
Dr. Paul also defended the Centre’s vaccination policy, which several states have criticized.
Centre on May 13 also rejected the Delhi government’s claim that Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech has refused to provide it “additional” doses and said the national capital has received over 15 lakh doses of the anti-COVID vaccine.