NEW DELHI: The Centre has projected the production of nearly 78 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin — the two vaccines which have been the lynchpin of the national Covid vaccination drive for next three months, raising hopes of pace in the sluggish programme.
An internal note prepared by the health ministry, reviewed by this newspaper, says that in August, nearly 25.5 crore doses of the two vaccines will be manufactured, while it will go to a little above 26 crore doses in September and 28 crore doses in October.
The total vaccination figures have crossed the 50- crore mark but the population fully covered with two doses remains just about 11 crore. This is less than 9% of the total adult population of India, which is about 95 crore, and 190 crore doses are required to fully vaccinate them.
The note also says that from August-December, over 136 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin will be manufactured. Additionally, sources in the health ministry said that Covid-19 vaccines by Biological E, Covovax, Janssen and Gennova will also be available starting October.
“We are hoping to get about 35-40 crore doses of these vaccines in next three months which will take the total tally of vaccines to nearly 200 crore doses by the year end,” a senior ministry official said.
Experts pointed out that the government should also reveal the actual doses to be available in coming months. “What we are being told is the projected production capacities of the vaccine makers but so far we have seen that the actual supply has been far lesser and an explanation of a few months’ lag in the production cycle is offered for this,” said a vaccinologist attached with a government institute in Faridabad.
“Therefore I will not be excited by these figures and would want to see how many doses are actually supplied in the coming days,” he added.