COVID-19: Centre releases 30% of amount to manufacturers of Covaxin and Covishield; revised guidelines issued for vaccination

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Tuesday, June 08, 2021, 10:58 PM IST
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A healthcare worker fills her syringe while another one is observing under a bus where vaccines against COVID-19 are being inoculated after the inauguration of Vaccination on Wheel at Posta Bazar, in Kolkata on Thursday. | ANI

The Centre has placed advanced orders for 250 million doses of Covishield with Serum Institute of India and 190 million doses of Covaxin with Bharat Biotech International Ltd, scheduled to be delivered by Aug-Dec.

At a briefing on Tuesday, NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul said the government has released 30% of the amount to both manufacturers as advance payment for the fresh order, which was placed on Monday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the revised vaccination procurement policy.

With these new vaccine orders, a total of 740 million doses will be available in the country from August, which include 300 million doses of Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd's COVID-19 vaccine, Paul said. The government has paid 15 billion rupees in advance to Biological E for its COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to be available in September, he added.

REVISED GUIDELINES: The doses provided free of cost by the Centre will be allocated to states and union territories based on criteria like population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination, the government said in its revised guidelines on Tuesday. It further warned that wastage of shots will affect the allocation negatively.

PRIORITISATION: Within the group of citizens above 18 years of age, states/UTs may decide their own prioritization factoring in the vaccine supply schedule. By and large the following order will be adhered to: health care, frontline workers, those above 45 years of age, those whose second dose is due, and lastly all those who are 18 years, and above.

HOSPITAL SUPPLY: The Centre will facilitate supply of COVID-19 vaccines to private hospitals based on their aggregate demand, the data for which will be collated by respective state governments and Union territories. The move is expected to ensure regional balance and equitable distribution of supplies between large and small hospitals. Earlier, manufacturers were believed to make supplies readily available to large hospitals due to higher prices of vaccines as compared to what they charge from the central and state governments.

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