Covid-19: Incorrect facts, says Centre on media reports on SII vaccines

Published on Apr 22, 2021 08:59 PM IST

The central government issued a clarification on media reports that the Serum Institute of India (SII), based in Pune, is contracted with it to provide entire production of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (covid-19) till May 25.

A supply truck of Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest maker of vaccines, which manufacturing Covishield vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Pune, India, May 18, 2020 (Reuters).
A supply truck of Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest maker of vaccines, which manufacturing Covishield vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Pune, India, May 18, 2020 (Reuters).
By | Edited by Karan Manral, New Delhi

The Central government clarified on Thursday media reports that the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) had contracted its entire production of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (covid-19) to it till May 25.

Also Read | Serum Institute announces Covishield price: 600 for pvt, 400 for govt hospitals

“There have been some media reports suggesting that SII has contracted all its production till 25th May 2021 to the Centre, and therefore till that date state governments will not be able to procure vaccine from SII,” the Centre said in a press release on Thursday evening. “These media reports are based on incorrect facts,” the release further said.

Explaining the “contract,” the government said, “A key feature of the Liberalised Pricing And Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy is that the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to state governments and in the other than Government of India channel. The state governments are free to purchase the vaccine doses from the vaccine manufacturers.”

Therefore, it is very clear that every month out of the total CDL cleared doses available with any vaccine manufacturer, 50% doses would be available for other than Government of India channels, the release added.

Amid a rapid surge in daily cases of the viral disease, the Centre on Monday announced that starting May 1, everyone who is 18 or above will be eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19. This will be the third phase of the nationwide vaccine drive, which is the largest globally, and began on January 16. SII is manufacturing one of two vaccine jabs cleared for use in India, the Oxford University-AstraZeneca shot, which is being manufactured here as “Covishield.”

Also Read | What changes from May 1 in Covid-19 vaccination drive?

The other shot is called Covaxin, and has been developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited. It is India’s first, and thus far only, home-made jab against Covid-19. Both Covaxin and Covishield were granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in January. Earlier this month, the DCGI granted approval to a third shot, Russia’s Sputnik V.

Also Read | India to get Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine only by end-May

According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare’s (MoHFW) dashboard on Thursday morning, 132,330,644 doses have been administered in the country thus far, including 2,211,344 in the last 24 hours.

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