New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Monday said that media reports alleging that the Centre has not placed any fresh order for COVID-19 vaccines are "incorrect" and are not based on facts.
"The news reports suggest that the last order placed with the two vaccine makers (100 million doses with SII and 20 million doses with Bharat Biotech) was in March 2021. These media reports are completely incorrect, and are not based on facts," the ministry said in a statement. The ministry further said that against the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till May 3.
"It is clarified that 100 per cent advance of Rs 1732.50 crore (after TDS Rs 1699.50 crore) was released to Serum Institute of India (SII) on April 28 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine during May, June and July, and was received by them on April 28," it said.
Additionally, 100 per cent advance of Rs 787.50 crore (after TDS Rs 772.50 crore) was released on April 28 to Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) for five crore Covaxin doses during May, June and July, and was received by them on April 28.
It further said that as on date against the last order of 2 crore doses for supplies of Covaxin vaccine, 0.8813 crore doses have been delivered till May 3.
"Hence to say that fresh orders have not been placed by the government is not correct."
"As of 2nd May 2021, Government of India has provided more 16.54 crore vaccine doses to States/UTs Free of Cost. More than 78 lakh doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered. More than 56 Lakh doses, in addition, will be received by the states and UTs in the next three days," it further said.
The ministry said that under the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, the government would continue to procure its share of 50 per cent of the monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccines and would continue to make them available to the state governments totally free of cost as was being done earlier.