ECONOMY

Centre Says Nearly 60 Lakh Doses In Pipeline For States To Vaccinate 45+ Year Olds

India’s central government will supply nearly 60 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses to states over the next three days for inoculating those aged over 45 years.

States and union territories will receive 59.7 lakh doses for free within three days, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a media statement. The central government has so far provided 16.54 crore doses to states.

The balance stock with states has fallen to 75.7 lakh, which at the current average rate of vaccination would be enough for just about three days. Earlier on May 1, BloombergQuint had computed how supply for some India’s most populous states was dwindling. The centre has since boosted its pipeline for states.

To be sure, this stock is only to be used for vaccinating those over 45 years of age. States and private hospitals have to procure vaccines from manufacturers directly for administering it to 18-44 year olds.

Among the most populous states of the country, Maharashtra is the closest to running out with just over 23,000 doses in its inventory. The central government has 10.5 lakh doses for Maharashtra in its supply pipeline.

Besides Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Telangana and Karnataka are among those that have less than 1 lakh doses left.

Centre Clarifies On Vaccine Orders

The central government also clarified that it has placed additional orders with the two vaccine makers—Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech Ltd.

The Health Ministry said it has paid Rs 1,732 crore to Pune-based Serum for an additional 11 crore doses of Covishield. This will be in addition to the first order of 10 crore doses that the central government had placed in March. Of the first order, Serum has supplied 8.8 crore doses as on May 3.

The company, in a separate statement, said the 11 crore doses will be supplied “over the next few months”.

The government has also paid Rs 787.5 crore to Bharat Biotech for an additional 5 crore doses of Covaxin to be supplied in May, June and July. That, too, is over and above the first order of 2 crore doses the central government had placed. Of that, 0.88 crore doses have been supplied as on May 3.

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