Four more Indian pharma firms expected to start vaccine production
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday said in Parliament that four more Indian pharma firms are expected to start anti-coronavirus vaccine production by October-November that will accelerate the inoculation drive. During the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Mandaviya said India has administered 47 crore doses of vaccine so far and the Centre is making efforts to inoculate the entire country at the earliest.
Government centers using doses that remain unutilized by private hospitals
"Even seven-nine percent of doses that remain unutilized by private hospitals are being used by the government vaccination centers," he added. Mandaviya was speaking amid a din in the house over the Opposition's demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue and the farm laws.
Biological E, Novartis vaccines to be available soon
"Vaccination drive is going on smoothly... It will get more accelerated in the coming days with the ramping up of production by four more Indian companies," the minister said. "Biological E and Novartis vaccines will also be available in the market in the coming days, while Zydus Cadila will soon get an emergency-use nod from an expert committee," he said.
Government aims to vaccinate entire population at the earliest: Mandaviya
"At present, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute are supplying vaccines to the government. Sputnik is also available and its production has begun," he added. When asked about the vaccine roll-out plan for 12-18-year-olds and the need for a third or fourth dose, Mandaviya said, "The government's target is to vaccinate the entire population at the earliest and efforts are being made to achieve this."
PM took steps to ensure speedy access to vaccines: Mandaviya
"Unlike BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) and polio vaccines that came to India much later after their launch in other parts of the world, the anti-COVID-19 vaccine was available in India at the same time due to efforts of the Narendra Modi government," he said. "Modi took steps, supported scientists and companies to ensure vaccines were available in India at the earliest," he said.
No need to reduce vaccine quota for private hospitals: Mandaviya
Responding to BJP member Susheel Kumar Modi's query on the government's plan to reduce the vaccine quota to private hospitals, Mandaviya said it wasn't necessary as the unused vaccine quota of private hospitals is taken by the government. "The Centre is buying 75 percent of vaccines produced to give free jabs to people, while 25 percent is allocated to the private sector," he added.