The Centre announced on Thursday that between August and December this year, over two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine would be available in India, enough to vaccinate the entire population.
The government’s estimate, Dr V K Paul said, was based on data submitted by manufacturers of eight Covid-19 vaccines.
The Covid-19 Vaccine Will Be Made Available Within “Five Months”!
Between August and December, the Serum Institute of India (SII) will manufacture 75 crore doses of Covishield and 20 crore doses of the Novavax vaccine, totalling 95 crore doses.
“Two billion doses (216 crores) will be made in the country in five months for India and people of India. The vaccine is available for all as we move forward,” Niti Aayog member VK Paul said.
He added that by the first quarter of the next year, this number is likely to be three billion.
Availability of Russian-made Sputnik Vaccine
The Russian-made Sputnik vaccine will be available in limited doses from next week, Paul said.
“Sputnik vaccine has arrived in India. We have received a limited supply. It will be available from early next week in the market. From July onwards, the production will begin and the company expects 15.6 crores (August-December),” he said.
“At this stage, everywhere in the world, there is asymmetry on supply-demand,” Paul said.
“However, I can assure you, if I extend this estimate to the early first quarter (of next year), this number is 3 billion doses. Yes, vaccination is a major pillar against the pandemic. This is not the only one, but perhaps the most important going forward. But we have to remember it will take time to cover the entire population. We should accept the reality with humility.”
Biological E is expected to produce 30 crore doses, Zydus Zydus Cadila 5 crore, Serum Institute of India 20 crore doses of Novavax, and Bharat Biotech 10 crore doses of its nasal vaccine, while Gennova and Sputnik V are expected to produce 6 crore and 15.6 crore doses, respectively.
The vaccine candidates of Biological E, Zydus Cadila, Gennova, Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine are in various stage of clinical trials.
Vaccination Process Will Take Time
According to the department, the Centre has purchased 27.6 crore doses of Covishield from SII, with 16 crore doses expected to be delivered between May and July.
States and private hospitals will receive the majority of the extra 16 crore doses from SII. Before it can supply 95 crore doses between August and December, it will need to ramp up its capacity dramatically.
India, Paul said, was “in a period where there are finite supplies” of vaccines, and “it will take time to come out of this phase”. The United States, he said, has been able to give at least one dose to 46 per cent of its population; in Germany, which has a population of 8.3 crores, 34 per cent have received a single dose or more. “Therefore, it takes time,” he said.