India to produce 9 crore vaccine doses by June

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According to the plan submitted by Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute the pharma majors plan to raise production to 7.82 crore and 10 crore doses respectively by August, reports Asian Lite News

India’s vaccine production is likely to reach eight crore doses in May and 9 crore doses in June. Presenting their plans on Covid-19 vaccine production in the next coming months, both Pune’s Serum Institute of India and Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech said they are ramping up their monthly production capacity.

In a meeting on Wednesday with seven states/UTs which are lagging behind in terms of vaccinating people against Covid-19, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said both the vaccine majors are will double their output.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

According to the plan, Bharat Biotech is all set to raise the production of Covaxin to 3.32 crore doses in July and 7.82 crore in August. Serum Institute aims at increasing the production up to 10 crore doses in August.

Apart from Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech facility, three public sector companies, including Mumbai’s Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Hyderabad’s Indian Immunologicals Limited and Bulandshah’s Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited, have been given the nod to produce Covaxin.

In April this year, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) had announced financial support to four firms including Bharat Biotech International and Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, to ramp up production of the indigenously-developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.

Among the grants, Bharat Biotech, the co-developer of the vaccine, would get Rs 65 crore to repurpose its new Bengaluru facility to increase the capacity of Covaxin production, while Maharashtra state-owned Haffkine will also be provided around Rs 65 crore for setting up a facility to make the inactivated vaccine.

Apart from these two companies, two more public sector undertakings Indian Immunologicals Ltd and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Ltd will also be getting funds to produce 10-15 million dozes per month by August or September.

The Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr. Vinod K. Paul along with the DG, ICMR, Dr. Balram Bhargava addressing a press conference on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19 (Including Vaccination), in New Delhi on May 13, 2021. The Principal Director General (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Shri Jaideep Bhatnagar and the Joint Secretary, MoHFW, Shri Lav Agarwal are also seen. (PIB)

Meanwhile, the pace of vaccination has got stymied in some states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi as they do not have adequate vaccines to inoculate both the population below 45 and above 45, simultaneously. Since the administration of the second doses is of priority, the states are mulling halting the vaccination of the people between the age group of 18 to 44 years.

The Centre on Tuesday appealed to states to prioritise vaccinating those due for second dose of Covid-19 vaccine and reserve at least 70 per cent of the shots supplied from the central pool for the purpose. States have also been urged to minimise wastage of vaccine doses, the health ministry said in a statement.

All wastage more than the national average hereafter is to be adjusted from the subsequent allocations to that state or union territory.

India clocks 3.62L fresh cases

Meanwhile, India on Thursday reported 3,62,727 new Covid cases and 4,120 fatalities, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

On Wednesday, India recorded 4,205 fresh Covid deaths, while on Friday last, the country had recorded its highest ever cases of 4,14,188.

In the past 21 days India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh-mark and over 3,000 casualties for a fortnight.

India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,37,03,665 with 37,10,525 active cases and 2,58,317 deaths so far.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 3,52,181 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, with 1,97,34,823 being cured from Covid till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 17,72,14,256 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 18,94,991 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 30,94,48,585 samples have been tested up to May 12 for Covid-19. Of these 18,64,594 samples were tested on Wednesday.

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