Coronavirus vaccine production to reach 9cr doses in June: Government
The Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the two companies India has entrusted to make its coronavirus vaccines, have both submitted their productions plans for the coming four months to the Indian government. Both the firms assured that they will gradually accelerate their production capacities. The move is significant as India is currently struggling to keep its vaccination drive on track.
Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced the news
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan tweeted last night that India's overall vaccine production will likely increase to eight crore doses in May and nine crore doses the next month. "The Centre will provide all possible help to companies to make this possible," he said.
Serum aims to produce 10 crore doses in August
Both the vaccine makers have sent their production plans for June, July, August, and September, PTI reported. Bharat Biotech has committed to raise its production of COVAXIN, India's first indigenous coronavirus vaccine, to 3.32 crore doses in July and 7.82 crore doses in August. Pune-based Serum Institute, meanwhile, is aiming to make up to 10 crore doses of Covishield in August.
3 more companies to produce COVAXIN
In a bid to ramp up vaccine supply in India, three public sector companies have been roped in by the government to make COVAXIN. Now, apart from Bharat Biotech's facility in Hyderabad, Mumbai-based Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Limited, Hyderabad's Indian Immunologicals Limited, as well as Bulandshahar-based Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited have been given permission to produce the vaccine.
India's vaccination program loses pace
India's pledge to hold a massive vaccination program has been marred by acute shortages in several states and union territories. Governments in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Delhi have said they do not have enough doses to vaccinate all eligible groups. Some states are even halting the inoculation of people aged below 45 to be able to administer second doses of those above 45 on priority.
Delhi and other states rush to import vaccines
Due to the domestic shortage, several states such as Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttarakhand have reportedly decided to float global tenders to procure vaccines from abroad. Currently, two vaccines - COVAXIN and Covishield - are being used in India. A third vaccine - Russia's Sputnik V - has been approved and will be rolled out soon, the government has said.
India's coronavirus crisis
India has been gripped by a brutal second wave of the coronavirus amid an overburdened healthcare system. In the past 24 hours, the country logged 3,62,727 fresh COVID-19 infections. 4,120 deaths were also recorded during the said period.