New Delhi: The Centre announced on Tuesday that it has ordered 44 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre would take over the state procurement quota and provide free jabs to state governments for inoculation of all people over the age of 18.
The makers of these 44 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines will deliver them between August and December 2021, according to the Union Health Ministry.
“In immediate follow-up of the prime minister’s announcement of these changes in the Guidelines of NAtional Covid Vaccination Programme yesterday, the Centre has placed an order with Serum Institute of India for 25 crore doses of Covishield and with Bharat Biotech for 19 crore doses of Covaxin,’’ Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog, said.
“Additionally, 30 per cent of the advance for procurement of both the covid 19 vaccines has been released to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech,” Dr Paul said.
He said the Centre has been supporting the efforts of states and union territories for an effective vaccination drive under the “whole of government approach” since January 16 this year.
Based on various representations received by the Centre, the vaccination for all adults above 18 years of age was opened in Phase III of the vaccination strategy beginning May 1.
“Now with the aim to further universalise the countrywide Vaccination drive all citizens above 18 years of age can receive the COVID-19 vaccine doses free of cost at government health facilities,” Paul said.
From June 21, the central government will provide free coronavirus vaccines to states and union territories for the inoculation of all adults over the age of 18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Monday, announcing that the Centre will take over the 25% state procurement quota.
Asserting that vaccine supply would be significantly increased in the coming days, the prime minister stated that the Centre has now decided to purchase 75% of vaccines from vaccine manufacturers for free distribution to states, while private sector hospitals will continue to procure the remaining 25%.