There has been no shortage of vaccines, govt providing free jabs: Lok Sabha

There has been no shortage of vaccines and the Government of India has been supplying the jabs to states and Union Territories for free to be given to prioritized beneficiaries as recommended by NEGVAC, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Advance visibility of vaccine allocation -- total doses that would be available for states and UTs -- are provided 15 days in advance to enable them to plan for acceleration of vaccination coverage while being cognizant of the available vaccines, she said in a written reply.

Asked whether the government is aware that many inoculation sites got closed down due to non-availability of vaccines there, Pawar said, "There has been no shortage of vaccines and the Government of India has been providing free supply of vaccines to states and UTs for administration to prioritised beneficiaries as recommended by NEGVAC (National Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration against COVID-19)."

On whether the government is aware that less than 10 per cent of Indians have got single dose of Covid vaccine despite India being the world's leading vaccine manufacturer, the minister said as of July 20, around 34.5 per cent of the estimated population aged 18 years and above has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

As of July 20, 2021, a total of 32.64 crore first doses and 8.55 crore second doses have been administered across the country. A total of 2.15 lakh COVID-19 Vaccination Centres have been operational across the country, Pawar said.

The Government of India has taken many steps to augment the domestic manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 vaccines.

These include support to M/s Bharat Biotech and three Public Sector Enterprises under 'Mission COVID Suraksha-the Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission', technology transfer of Covaxin production, financial assistance to one of the domestic vaccine manufacturers for 'at-risk manufacturing', advance payment against the supply orders placed with M/s Serum Institute of India and M/s Bharat Biotech, and streamlining of regulatory norms for approval of vaccines, the minister said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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