Centre orders 66 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses from Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech

The bulk order and other anticipated supplies are expected to help India remain on track to ensure vaccination for all those aged 18 years and above by the year-end. 

Created On: Jul 16, 2021 10:49 IST
Centre orders 66 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses from Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech
Centre orders 66 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses from Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech

The Union government has placed an order for 66 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses of Serum Institute of India's (SII) Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. The bulk vaccine order has been placed for August and September at a cost of Rs 14,505 crore. 

This is the government's largest order yet of Covid vaccines and is expected to help substantially meet the vaccine availability projections it had made before the Supreme Court. The centre has estimated to make available about 135 crore doses between August-December in its affidavit submitted to the apex court on June 26. 

Besides the order for 66 crore doses, the government has made an advance payment to reserve 30 crore doses of the Hyderabad-based Biological-E’s Corbevax vaccine. The private sector will also get another 22 crore vaccine doses of Covishield and Covaxin during the period. 

Significance

The bulk order and other anticipated supplies are expected to help India remain on track to ensure vaccination for all those aged 18 years and above by the year-end. It will also address vaccine supply irregularities that have been raised by some states. 

The health ministry has emphasised on advance planning and logistics management to ensure no vaccine is wasted and no person is turned away. The Ministry has indicated that the vaccine doses will be made available to the states 15 days in advance to enable the planning of vaccination centres and sessions accordingly.

Key Highlights 

• The centre aims to have 37.5 crore doses of Covishield and 28.5 crore doses of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin over the next five months. 

• The fresh order has been placed at Rs 215.25 per dose for the Covishield vaccine and Rs 225.75 per dose for Covaxin, inclusive of GST rate.

• The total production of Covishield and Covaxin between August and December is estimated to be at 88 crore doses.

• Covaxin production is estimated to be 38 crore during this period, slightly less than the 40 crore stated in the SC affidavit. There was a shortfall of 3.5 crore doses in July. 

• The government’s estimate of 135 crore doses includes Covishield, Covaxin, Corbevax vaccines, Sputnik V and Zydus Cadila’s vaccine. 

• Sputnik V is yet to begin its local manufacturing in India, while Zydus Cadila’s vaccine is yet to be approved.

• Around 10 crore of Sputnik V doses and 5 crore of Cadila's vaccine are estimated to be made available this year.

Background 

The centre had in an affidavit filed on 25 June informed the Supreme Court that India will have access to 1.35 Covid-19 vaccine doses by December, which will be enough to cover the whole eligible adult population of the country. The government's estimate includes 50 crore doses of the Covishield vaccine, 40 crore of Covaxin, 30 crore of Biological E's vaccine, 5 crore of Zydus Cadila's vaccine and 10 crore of Russian Sputnik V vaccine doses. 

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