IBEF: March 17, 2021
The government has shipped 5.86 crore doses of COVID-19 'Made in India’ vaccines to 71 countries as grants as well as commercial sales as part of international manufacturer agreements until March 15, 2021, the Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
External shipments are being made with due consideration for domestic production, according to Union Minister For Health And Family Welfare, Mr. Harsh Vardhan in a written response.
He stated that priority is given to utilizing doses within the country and maintaining adequate supply for the national vaccination program.
Mr. Vardhan said, “As of March 15, 2021, a total of 5.86 crore doses of ‘Made in India’ COVID-19 vaccines had been distributed to 71 countries as a grant from the Government of India, as well as through commercial sales by manufacturers and as part of international agreements between manufacturers and COVAX facility (which has > 190 member countries).”
In response to whether the government is considering providing free COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens, he stated that the vaccine is provided free of charge at government COVID-19 vaccination centres, and it is available at a maximum cost of Rs. 250 (US$ 3.44) per dose per individual at private facilities.
In response to a query about the pace of vaccination process, Mr. Vardhan stated that the current rate of COVID-19 vaccination is adequate and is being further expanded through an increase in the number of COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) in both government and the private sector health facilities.
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has prioritized healthcare workers, frontline workers, people over the age of 60, and people between the ages of 45 and 59, with 20 identified comorbidities for COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination is a continuous and dynamic process that is being accelerated to include beneficiary groups prioritized by NEGVAC.
He stated that due to the extreme dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inclusion of new priority groups, no timeline for full implementation of vaccination can be specified at this time.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.