4 crore COVAXIN doses missing? Mismatch in production, availability reported
Even as India is facing an acute vaccine shortage, a report indicates that there is a mismatch in the number of doses of COVAXIN produced and the number of doses administered. Reportedly, official data indicates 2.1 crore doses of the vaccine had been administered in the country till Thursday morning, however, the manufacturer's statements suggest at least 6 crore doses should have been available.
Bharat Biotech official's statements reveal vaccine production
In April, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella had said 1.5 crore doses were produced in March and the monthly output for April would be 2 crore. In May, 3 crore were to be produced. On January 5, Ella had said the company had 2 crore doses stockpiled. This at least amounts to 8.5 crore doses, excluding production in January and February.
India exported over 6 crore vaccine doses
The Times of India was the first to report this discrepancy. India had exported around 6.6 crore vaccine doses. Although most were Covishield, even if we assume that 2 crore doses were exported, that still leaves India with around 4 crore available doses.
Vaccine shortage slows down immunization drive
India has been facing a vaccine shortage, which has led to a slowdown in inoculations. Back in early April, daily inoculations had peaked around 45 lakh a day, however, they have now declined to 30 lakh. The shortage of vaccines was worsened after India allowed vaccinations for all adults starting May 1. Several states have halted/slowed vaccinations for the younger population.
How bad is the outbreak in India?
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Friday morning, India reported a total of 2,75,55,457 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 3,18,895. So far, 2,48,93,410 patients have recovered, while 23,43,152 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 1,86,364 new infections, 2,59,459 more discharges, and 3,660 fresh fatalities. 20,57,20,660 vaccine doses have been administered so far.