Pressure mounting on Bharat Biotech to deliver vaccines

Pressure mounting on Bharat Biotech to deliver Covid-19 vaccines to Centre

Only 3.8 crore Covaxin jabs have been administered so far, only 12 per cent of the total doses administered in the country

Representative Image. Credit: Reuters Photo

Bharat Biotech has to increase its vaccine supply by over nine times of its current levels if it hopes to help the Centre inoculate all adults by the end of December this year.

To vaccinate 93-94 crore adults in India, the government requires roughly 187 crore vaccines, of which Bharat Biotech is to provide 48 crore doses. The Centre in January placed an order of 8 crore Covaxin doses till the end of July, but as of now, Bharat Biotech has only been able to deliver under 4 crore doses.

Of the 8 crore, only 3.8 crore Covaxin jabs have been administered so far according to the Co-WIN portal, which is only 12 per cent of the total doses administered in the country.

Bharat Biotech said it has delivered over 4 crore doses so far, as some were given to state governments between May 1 and June 21, when a decentralised vaccine policy was in effect. Even then, the company has only delivered half of what it was supposed to have done by the end of July.

Read | India surpasses US in total Covid-19 vaccine doses administered

The Centre aims to procure the other 40 crore Covaxin doses by the end of the year, according to the affidavit filed with the Supreme Court in the suo motu proceedings of Covid management.

The company has another massive order of 19 crore doses for August, for which it has received 30 per cent advance payment. Bharat Biotech hence needs to supply nearly 44 crore vaccine doses between now and December, which will be a difficult feat given that the company’s supply hit snags many times in the previous months.

It was also made clear that to manufacture, test and release one batch of Covaxin, the company took 120 days. Therefore, batches that went into production in March will only be ready during June.

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