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Over two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be available in India between August and December this year, said Dr VK Paul, member of Niti Aayog - the government's topmost think-tank.
Of the two billion doses, the bulk of 750 million (75 crore) doses would comprise of Covishield, Dr Paul said. The vaccine is currently being produced by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
Around 550 million (55 crore) doses of Covaxin, made by Hyderabad's Bharat Biotech Limited, would also be available in the period, Dr Paul added.
The central government has so far procured 35.6 crore vaccine doses, including both Covishield and Covaxin, the Health Ministry said in the press briefing. Another 16 crore doses are in pipeline to the states and private hospitals, it added.
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The Centre has also reached out to global manufacturers to ramp up the vaccine supply, Dr Paul claimed, adding that the government will enable foreign vaccine makers to obtain expeditious approvals from national regulators.
|Emerging Vaccine Availability||Production/Availability (August-December 2021)||Manufacturer in India|
|Covishield||75 crore||Serum Institute of India|
|Covaxin||55 crore||Bharat Biotech|
|Bio E sub vaccine||30 crore||Biological E|
|Zydus Cadila DNA vaccine||5 crore||Zydus Cadila|
|Novavax vaccine||20 crore||Serum Institute of India|
|BB Nasal vaccine||10 crore||--|
|Genova mRNA vaccine||6 crore||--|
|Sputnik vaccine||15.6 crore||Dr Reddy’s Laboratory|
|TOTAL||216 crore|| |
"Department of Biotechnology, other departments concerned, the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) have been in touch with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson from beginning. They were officially asked if they'd like to send doses to or manufacture in India, we'll find partners and assist," news agency quoted Dr Paul as saying.
"They had said that they are working in their own way and they would talk of vaccine availability in Q3, in 2021. We are connected to them. I'm hopeful that they'll step forward to increase availability in India," he said.
"We invite them to manufacture here along with our companies. Johnson & Johnson did a good job, they accepted this offer under Quad," Dr Paul further added.
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The top government official also confirmed that doses of Sputnik V, the vaccine developed by Russia's Gamaleya Institute, has reached India and "we are hopeful that it would be available in the market next week".
The announcement of over two billion vaccine doses to be made available in the next few months comes amid reports of shortage in several parts of the country. A number of states have paused the inoculation drive for the 18-44 age group to prioritise the available stock for the 45-plus age group.