Union Government informed about its vaccination plan on May 13, 2021, stating that it planned to get around 217 crore vaccine doses between August and December 2021.
The centre informed that around 51.6 vaccine doses have been ordered to fulfill the vaccine demand in the country by the month of July.
The total number includes 16 crore doses procured directly by states and private hospitals and 35.6 crore doses procured by the Centre, which includes 1 crore doses procured from the Covax facility.
What about the current unavailability of vaccines for the 18-45 years age group?
While addressing the concerns over the unavailability of vaccines for those falling under the age group of 18-44 years due to a huge gap between demand and supply, the centre said that the pace of vaccination will pick up as the production capacity of India’s indigenous vaccines will be ramped up and as foreign vaccines are also made available in the next few months.
Sputnik V to be available from next week!
Besides the two indigenously manufactured vaccines- Covishield and Covaxin that are currently being used for vaccination across the country, India has also given emergency use approval to Russia’s Sputnik V, which is expected to be made available in the market from next week.
When will local manufacturing of the Sputnik V vaccine begin?
The local manufacturing of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is expected to begin in July. Currently, the vaccine is being imported from Russia. Roughly around 15.6 crore doses of Sputnik are expected to be available for local consumption between August- December.
How will India get 217 crore doses between August- December 2021?
•The government has estimated that India will get access to around 217 crore vaccine doses between August and December 2021, based on the anticipated production indicated by the companies of promising vaccine candidates that are currently under advanced stages of clinical trials.
•It is an optimistic estimate and there are chances that it may not happen but preparations are there, informed Niti Aayog Member VK Paul. He stated that the vaccines under advanced stages of clinical trials are very promising.
•Dr. Paul further stated that the total number of vaccine doses available is expected to further rise to around 300 crore by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
•These estimates are also based on lab and clinical trial results.
How many vaccine doses has India received so far?
•Out of the total order of 35.6 crore doses placed by the Centre so far, 7.6 crore have been received and utilised and 86 percent of the 12 crore doses procured in phase-2 has been received and the rest will be received by the end of May.
•Under centre’s phase 3 procurement of the vaccines, another 16 crore doses will be supplied between May and July.
•The government informed that around 7.3 crore doses have been made available through centre, state and private hospitals in May alone.
SII, Bharat Biotech’s vaccine production plan for the next four months
•The Serum Institute of India has informed that it will raise its monthly production capacity to 10 crore doses by August 2021 and will maintain the level in September.
•Bharat Biotech has informed that they will be increasing their monthly production capacity from 3.32 crore in July to 7.8 crore doses by August 2021 and the same number will be maintained in September as well.
•Between August and December, the Serum Institute of India is expected to manufacture around 75 crore doses, while Bharat Biotech is expected to manufacturer around 55 crore doses of Covaxin.
Other vaccines that are likely to be approved:
•Biological E’s recombinant vaccine, being partnered with Baylor Medical College in the US, is likely to provide 30 crore doses to India.
•India also expects to soon have vaccines from Cadila Healthcare and Genova Pharma.
•Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine candidate is also under trial.
•The government’s vaccine projections also include Novavax, which will be manufactured by SII in India.
•India is also in regular talks with foreign vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer, Moderna and J&J and has been asking them to make their vaccines available in India, informed Dr. Paul.
•The centre wants these companies to bring their vaccines to India, partner with Indian firms, do technology transfer and manufacture them here.
India had recently in April 2021 relaxed its regulatory norms for granting approval to the foreign developed and manufactured vaccines that have already been approved by credible global regulators like USFDA and UK’s MHRA.