India might have enough Covid-19 vaccines to inoculate entire adult population by year end, govt says | The Daily Star
01:05 PM, May 14, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:09 PM, May 14, 2021

India might have enough Covid-19 vaccines to inoculate entire adult population by year end, govt says

Facing Covid-19 vaccine crunch at present, India can potentially get 216 crore doses in five months between August and December -- enough to vaccinate its entire adult population, a senior official of the government has said.

Vinod Kumar Paul, who heads India's Covid-19 Task Force, also said the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is likely to be available by next week.

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With domestic production and supply falling short of huge demand for vaccines against the virus, several states and union territories including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana have decided to opt for global tenders for procurement of Covid-19 shots.

Acknowledging the shortage, Paul told the media in New Delhi on Thursday that vaccines are important "but it takes time" to produce and make them available. "We are passing through a phase when supply is finite."

However, he said that by the end of the year there will be enough vaccine doses in the country to inoculate the entire adult population, our New Delhi correspondent reports.

"Over two billion doses will be made in the country in five months (August to December) for India and for the people of India. Vaccines will be available for all as we move forward," Paul said, adding the number is likely to be ramped up to three billion by the first quarter of the next year.

He said the estimated 216 crore doses that are likely to be produced between August and December include 75 crore doses of Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India) and 55 cores doses of indigenously-made Covaxin.

Further, pharma giants Biological E is expected to produce 30 crore doses, Zydus Cadila five crore, Serum Institute of India 20 crore doses of Novavax and Bharat Biotech 10 crore doses of its nasal vaccine, while Gennova will make available six crore doses and Sputnik V 15.6 crore doses, said Paul.

The vaccine candidates of Biological E, Zydus Cadila, Gennova, Bharat Biotech's nasal vaccine are in various stages of clinical trials.

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