Amid the Covid-19 vaccine shortage in India, the central government, on May 30, announced that about 12 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines would be availed in June for domestic use. This is a noticeable jump as in May when only 7.94 crore doses were available. Of these, 4.03 crore doses were supplied to the states and Union Territories free of cost, and 3.90 crore doses were available for direct procurement.
As of May 31, India has administered 212 million doses, following China and the United States. However, only 3% of India’s entire population got both jabs.
In a statement, the union health ministry said it would provide an “advance visibility” of vaccines to states and UTs for the entire month of June 2021.
According to the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination strategy, 50% of the available vaccine doses are supplied to the states and UTs from the union government free of cost. The remaining 50% is available for direct procurement from the vaccine manufacturers by states and UTs, and private hospitals.
The ministry said that the states and UTs will be supplied 6.09 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses for June prioritising frontline workers, healthcare workers, and individuals above 45 years. Additionally, over 5.86 crore doses will be available for direct procurement by the states, UTs and private hospitals contributing to the national Covid vaccination programme, it added.
The press release has also released a quantum of vaccine availability to ensure better planning and seamless delivery of vaccines by states and UTs, mentioning that the centre’s allocation is based on consumption patterns, population, and vaccine wastage.
Last week, Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, announced that India likely to get more than 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines between August and December 2021. He further said the country is expected to vaccinate its entire adult population by the end of this year.
India has recently begun to roll out Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. The country is inoculating people with the AstraZeneca vaccine produced locally by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Covaxin produced locally by Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech.