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Parliament panel asks govt to ramp up production of doses in March

The 31-member panel on science and technology, environment, forests and climate change, which comprises 14 members from the Bharatiya Janata Party, tabled the report in Parliament on March 8.
By Deeksha Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 13, 2021 06:04 AM IST
A medical worker prepares a dose of the Covishield, AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, at Max hospital.( AFP)

A parliamentary standing committee, headed by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, recommended in March that the central government “ramp up production of the two approved vaccines” — Covaxin and Covishield — and ensure their availability to a wider population.

The 31-member panel on science and technology, environment, forests and climate change, which comprises 14 members from the Bharatiya Janata Party, tabled the report in Parliament on March 8.

Noting the efforts of the Department of Biotechnology towards ensuring the timely development the vaccine, the panel recommended it to strengthen “on its part, the efforts for ramping up the production capacity of the two approved vaccines as well as provide all research, laboratory infrastructure and capacity building support to the other vaccine candidates in the pipeline, in order to ensure the availability of a safe, affordable, and efficacious vaccine to the wider population as soon as possible”.

Asked about the recommendations , Ramesh said: “India needs around 1.9 billion doses to fully vaccinate all adults. It was clear to the Standing Committee from the data presented by the government that the current production capacity is inadequate to meet that demand. That’s why we recommended that the production capacity must be ramped up as soon as possible. Alas, this wasn’t done, and now we are facing a massive vaccine shortage,” he said.

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