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Nitin Gadkari clarifies his remarks on vaccine production, informs about govt’s efforts to ramp up manufacturing

Gadkari stated hat he has been informed that the govt of InIndia has been facilitating production of Covid vaccines by 12 companies.

While addressing a virtual press conference yesterday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had suggested that more pharmaceutical companies should be allowed to make the Covid-19 vaccines in the country to boost the inoculation drive.

“If the demand of vaccine is more than its supply then it creates a problem. So, instead of one company, 10 more companies should be allowed to make vaccines by paying 10 percent royalty to the original patent holder of the vaccine,” said Gadkari while speaking at a virtual conference organized by Swadesi Jagran Manch.

However, the Union Minister has now issued a clarification regarding his recommendation stating that he was unaware that the relevant Ministry has already taken efforts to ramp up the production to bridge the supply and demand gap.

Gadkari in a series of Tweet said, “I was unaware that before my speech Minister for Chemical & Fertilizers Shri @mansukhmandviya had explained government’s efforts to ramp up vaccine production. After conference, he also informed me that, GoI is already facilitating vaccine manufacturing by 12 different plants/companies and rapid ramp up of production is expected in near future as a result of these efforts.”

Congratulating the team for their timely efforts, Gadkari said that it was important for him to put the discussion on record. 

Vaccine availability and procurement

As per the latest press release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a total of 5 crore 86 lakh and 29 thousand doses will be provided free of cost by the Government of India to states/ UTs from May 01, 2021 to June 15, 2021.

Citing information received from the vaccine manufacturers, a total of 4 crore, 87 lakh and 55 thousand doses will be made available till the end of June 2021 for direct procurement by the states/UTs.

Moreover, in an attempt to provide a major boost to the vaccination drive, the Government of India’s procurement pipeline suggests that:

  • 75 crore doses of Covishield
  • 55 crore doses of Covaxin
  • 30 crore doses of Bio E Sub unit vaccine
  • 20 crore doses of SII Novavax 
  • 10 crore doses of BB Nasal vaccine
  • 06 crore doses of Gennova mRNA vaccine
  • 15 crore doses of Sputnik vaccine will be procured between August 2021 to December 2021

The Union Health Ministry has been providing advance information on the availability of Covid-19 vaccine doses to be supplied to the states/ UTs every fortnight.

Production by Bharat Biotech at Pune plant

The Bombay High Court permitted Biovet Private Limited, an associate company of Bharat Biotech, to take possession of a fully operational and ready-to-use vaccine manufacturing plant in Pune to produce Covaxin, the indigenous vaccine against Covid-19.

To support the largest vaccination drive being carried out by India, Bharat Biotech has ramped up the manufacturing capacity of Covaxin to 700 million doses per annum.

The manufacturing scale-up is happening in a step-wise manner across multiple facilities with newer ones being added to the list.

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