The government has placed orders to procure 25 crore doses of Covishield from Serum Institute of India and 19 crore doses for Covaxin from Bharat Biotech, said NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul in a Health Ministry briefing on Tuesday.
The order, placed today, is in addition to the vaccine orders already secured with both the manufacturers, added Dr Paul. A total of 53.6 crore vaccines will be supplied till July, starting from January this year.
“These 44 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin (combined) will be available between August and December 2021, starting now. Additionally, 30% of advance for procurement of both the vaccines has been released to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech," he said, adding that more orders could be placed with both the companies as the 18-44 age group also added under the Centre’s responsibility.
‘Corbevax data promising’
Dr Paul added that the government had also placed an order to purchase 30 crore doses of Biological E’s vaccine, which would be made available by September.
“We should wait for the company (Biological E) to announce the price of their vaccine (Corbevax). It will depend on our negotiation with the company, under the new policy. The financial aid that has been given will meet part of the price," he said, adding that the provisional scientific date of the vaccine was “very promising".
“The provisional scientific data of Biological E’s Corbevax is very promising,” Dr Paul said during the daily Covid-19 press briefing.
In total, 127.6 crore vaccines will be supplied to the Centre, including its previous orders.
Decline in Cases, Increase in Testing
There has been a continued and sharp decline in daily new coronavirus cases in the country, the government said on Tuesday, but stressed on following COVID-19-appropriate behaviour to avert any future wave.
In a joint press briefing on the pandemic situation, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said almost 79 per cent decline in daily new COVID-19 cases has been noted since the peak on May 7.
There has been a continued and sharp decline in daily new cases, he said on the second wave of COVID-19.
He said India has reported 20,822 coronavirus cases and 252 deaths per million population, which is among the lowest in the world.
The government also stressed on following COVID-19-appropriate behaviour till the population is vaccinated, to avert any future wave.