In order to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine supply in the country, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday met Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla in the national capital and held a discussion over the supply of Covishield vaccine.
“We had many good meetings here. We discussed ramping up vaccine production. More than 17 countries in Europe have already approved Covidshield and many are in line to give approval. We discussed also this. This will be good news for all the travellers also. We were doing what we can do for our students,” Poonawalla told ANI after the meeting with Union Health Minister.
More than 136 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to be available till the end of this year, informed the central government on Friday.
For the next four months, India’s vaccine programme will be accelerated by the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
The note titled “Covid-19 Public Health Response Pro-active, Pre-emptive and Graded Response guided by Epidemiological and Scientific Rigour” also gave details about the vaccine production targets, which are given to Members of Parliament from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
As per the note, “In August the vaccine projection of Covaxin will be 2.65 crores, Covishield will be 23 crores and total a 25.65 crore doses will be produced in the month. In September the projection of Covaxin is 3.15 crore and Covishield will be 23 crores, which in total will be 26.15 crore doses. In October the total of 28.25 crore doses will be produced out of which Covaxin will be 5.25 crore and Covishield will be 23 crore doses.”
Additionally, 28.25 crore doses will be available in November, of which 5.25 crore will be of Covaxin and 23 crores of Covishield. In December the projection of Covaxin will be 5.25 crore and Covishield will be 23 crore doses, which in total will be 28.5 crore doses for the month.
As per an advance order placed by the Centre for August to December 2021, 75 per cent of Covishield vaccine doses will be procured at Rs 215.25 per dose at a total cost of Rs 8,071.87 crore.
The note has also mentioned the government will buy 28.5 crore Covaxin doses from Bharat Biotech at Rs 225.75 per dose at a cost of Rs 6,433.87 crore.
On Sputnik V production, the note said, “Sputnik V is not yet produced till July and it is expected to be manufactured 25 million doses in August, September, and October by Panacea. Thereafter there is no clarity/visibility as it depends on the bulk to be provided by Russia for filling. So, total production for the year can be expected to be 2044.16 million doses.”
The Union Health Ministry gave a presentation to MPs on the COVID situation in the country and action taken during the crisis.
“Due to ongoing field activities in terms of increased testing, surveillance, clinical management and other activities for more than one year, the health system witnessed fatigue,” it said.
The note has also mentioned, “Human resource crunch experienced during the second wave due to shortage of doctors and healthcare workers across urban areas.”
“Lack of COVID appropriate behaviour and complacency set in the community during opened economic activities, the virus spread rapidly across India,” it said.
“With an unexpected surge in cases, challenges in terms of infrastructure augmentation across the country, enhanced Oxygen supply, drugs requirement and other logistics came up,” it added.
Further, the note mentioned the management of medical Oxygen and the management of drugs during the second wave.