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No vaccine orders? Govt rubbishes media reports

Orders for 16 crore doses placed, payments made

It is incorrect to say the Centre has not placed any fresh order for COVID-19 vaccines, says the government.

NEW DELHI, May 3 (The CONNECT) - The Centre has rubbished media reports that the government has not placed any fresh order for COVID-19 vaccines. The news reports suggest that the last order placed with the two vaccine makers (100 million doses with SII and 20 million doses with Bharat Biotech) was in March 2021.

These reports are “completely incorrect, and are not based on facts,” said the government statement.

Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla has said that India’s Covid-19 vaccine shortage would continue through July, reported The Financial Times. Poonawalla said that the production of the vaccines is expected to increase from 60-70 million doses (6-7 crore) to 100 million (10 crore) by then, Scroll.in reported.

PoonawalIa himself tweeted subsequently stating that “I would like to clarify certain things since my comments may have been misinterpreted," "Vaccine manufacturing is a specialised process... it is therefore not possible to ramp up production overnight... We also need to understand that the population of India is huge and to produce enough doses is not an easy task," he said.

The government clarified that 100% advance of Rs. 1732.50 cr (after TDS Rs. 1699.50 cr) was released to Serum Institute of India (SII) on 28.04.2021 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine during May, June and July, and was received by them on 28.04.2021.

As on date, against the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till 03.05.2021.

Additionally, 100% advance of Rs. 787.50 cr (after TDS Rs. 772.50 cr) was released on 28.04.2021 to Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) for 05 crore Covaxin doses during May, June and July, and was received by them on 28.04.2021. As on date against the last order of 02 crore doses for supplies of Covaxin vaccine, 0.8813 crore doses have been delivered till 03.05.2021.

Hence to say that fresh orders have not been placed by Government of India is not correct.

As of 2nd May 2021, Govt. of India has provided more 16.54 crore vaccine doses to States/UTs Free of Cost. More than 78 lakh doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered. More than 56 Lakh doses in addition will be received by the States/UTs in the next 3 days.

Under the Liberalised Pricing & Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, Govt of India would continue to procure its share of 50% of the monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccines & would continue to make it available to the State Govts totally free of cost as was being done earlier.

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