Ministry says as of May 2, Centre has provided more 16.54 crore vaccine doses to states/UTs for free. Over 78 lakh doses are still available with states/UTs to be administered and over 56 lakh doses will be received in next three days
The health and family welfare ministry has denied media reports that said it has not placed any fresh order for Covid-19 vaccines with the vaccine manufacturers. The government said news reports that suggested the last order placed with the two vaccine makers (100 million doses with SII and 20 million doses with Bharat Biotech) was only in March 2021, are "completely incorrect" and not based on facts.
"It is clarified that 100 per cent advance of Rs 1,732.50 crore (after tax deducted at source (TDS) Rs 1,699.50 crore) was released to Serum Institute of India (SII) on 28.04.2021 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccines 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," the ministry said.
Additionally, the ministry said a 100 per cent advance of Rs 787.50 cr (after TDS Rs 772.50 cr) was released on April 28 to Bharat Biotech for 5 crore Covaxin doses during May, June and July. Against the last order of 2 crore doses for supplies of Covaxin vaccine, 88,13,000 doses have been delivered till May 3, the ministry statement said.
"To say that fresh orders have not been placed by the Government of India is not correct," it added.
Serum Institute has endorsed the ministry's statement, saying it is committed to ramping up our "vaccine production". "We endorse this statement, & the authenticity of the information. We have been working closely with the Government of India for the past year & thank it for its support. We remain committed to ramping up our vaccine production to save every life we can," said Serum.
As of May 2, the Centre has provided 16.54 crore vaccine doses to states/UTs for free. More than 78 lakh doses are still available with the states/UTs to be administered and over 56 lakh doses will be received by them in the next three days.
"Under the Liberalised Pricing & Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, Govt 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 govts totally free of cost as was being done earlier," the ministry clarified.