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Full advance of over Rs 1,700 crore released to SII for 11 crore doses of Covishield on April 28: Govt

As on date, against the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till May 3, the ministry said, adding, media reports alleging that the Centre has not placed any fresh order for COVID-19 vaccines are "incorrect and not based on facts".

May 03, 2021 / 03:39 PM IST
Representative Image (AFP)

Representative Image (AFP)

The Health Ministry on Monday said that 100 per cent advance of Rs 1732.50 crore was released to the Serum Institute of India on April 28 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine during May, June and July. The amount, which after TDS was Rs 1699.50 crore, was received by the SII on April 28 itself, it said.

As on date, against the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till May 3, the ministry said, adding, media reports alleging that the Centre has not placed any fresh order for COVID-19 vaccines are "incorrect and not based on facts".

Additionally, 100 per cent advance of Rs 787.50 crore (after TDS Rs 772.50 crore) was released on April 28 to Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) for five crore Covaxin doses during May, June and July. The amount was received by them on April 28.

As on date against the last order of two crore doses for supplies of Covaxin vaccine, 0.8813 crore doses have been delivered till May 3, the ministry said.

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

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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As of May 2, the Centre has provided more 16.54 crore vaccine doses to states and union territories free of cost. More than 78 lakh doses are still available with them to be administered, the ministry said.

"More than 56 lakh doses, in addition, will be received by states and UTs in the next three days," it stated.

Under the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, Government of India would continue to procure its share of 50 per cent of the monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccines and would continue to make it available to the state governments totally free of cost as was being done earlier, the ministry stated.
PTI
first published: May 3, 2021 03:25 pm

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