In an attempt to meet the vaccine availability projections made in the Supreme Court last month, the government has placed its largest order of Covid vaccines, including Covishield and Covaxin shots, at 66 crore doses worth Rs 14,505 crore.
The Central government has placed an order of 66 crore doses which will be given to the states, NITI Aayog member VK Paul said on Friday. Additionally, 22 crore doses of the two vaccines will go to the private sector, he told CNN-News18.
According to the government’s estimate, around 118 crore doses of vaccines are expected to be available in the country between August and December, he said. Further, he said an advance order of 30 crore doses of Biological E’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine has also placed to meet the demands.
The Centre in an affidavit, submitted to Supreme Court on June 26, had stated that over 135 crore doses will be made available between August and December. The government has also made an advance payment to procure 30 crore doses of Hyderabad-based Biological-E’s Corbevax vaccine, official sources said. Apart from Covishield, Covaxin and Corbevax, the government’s estimate of 135 crore doses also included Sputnik V and Zydus Cadila’s vaccine.
The Centre on Thursday launched a campaign to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination among tribal people with a focus on dispelling myths, misconceptions and fear about vaccines by involving traditional leaders and local influencers. The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, will implement the campaign, which started from Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Mandla in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday, in association with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and World Health Organisation
According to officials, the campaign aims at creating awareness on vaccination among around 50 lakh tribals and forest dwellers across states. Under the campaign, more than 50,000 villages in 309 districts will be covered.
Meanwhile, more than 1.51 crore balance and unutilised Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states, UTs and private hospitals to be administered, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday. Over 39.59 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far through all sources and a further 30,250 doses are in the pipeline.
Of this, the total consumption including wastage is 38,07,68,770 doses, the ministry said. The new phase of universalisation of Covid-19 vaccination commenced from June 21.
(With inputs from PTI)