27 Jun 2021: 51 crore vaccine doses by July 31: Centre tells SC
The central government has informed the Supreme Court that it plans to have over 51 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines ready by July 31. The government plans to vaccinate all adults by the end of 2021 and said an additional 135 crore doses would be available from August to December 31, according to an affidavit submitted to the apex court on Saturday.
Details: SC hearing matter of Centre's vaccination policy
A three-judge SC bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao, and Ravindra Bhat was hearing the matter concerning the government's COVID-19 vaccination policy, which it had earlier described as "irrational" and "arbitrary." Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, submitted an affidavit in court detailing the government's plan for vaccinating the country's population against COVID-19.
Court: Over 180 crore doses to be available by year-end
According to the affidavit, 51.6 crore vaccine doses would be made available by July 31. Between August and December, 135 crore doses will be made available: Covishield (50 crore doses), COVAXIN (30 crore), Bio E's subunit vaccine (30 crore), Sputnik V (10 crore), and Zydus Cadila DNA vaccine (5 crore). Currently, only Covishield, COVAXIN, and Sputnik V are approved for use in India.
Plan: New affidavit doesn't mention Covovax, BB's Nasal vaccine, Genova's vaccine
In May, the head of India's COVID-19 task force had said that 216 crore doses would be available between August-December. The affidavit submitted Saturday does not include the projected availability from Covovax (20 crore), Bharat Biotech's Nasal vaccine (10 crore), and Genova's mRNA vaccine (6 crore). The Centre said it is also trying to procure vaccines from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna.
Younger demographic: Efforts on to release vaccines for kids
Further, the Centre informed the SC that Zydus Cadila has concluded its clinical trial for the age group 12 to 18 years. It is subject to statutory permissions and the vaccine may be available in the near future to kids aged 12-18, it said. Bharat Biotech has also been allowed to conduct clinical trials for children aged 2-18, it added.
Other details: 'Vaccines in private market to incentivize production'
On allowing vaccines available in the private market to be priced, the Centre told the SC that the rationale was allowing private supply to widen the reach and reduce the stress on public facilities. This would also incentivize and augment vaccine production by manufacturers and "thereby cross-subsidize the price at which they are supplying 75% of their manufactured vaccines to the central government."
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