NEW DELHI: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the central government would provide Covid vaccines to the states free, the Union Health Ministry today said it has placed orders for nearly 44 crore doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech and these would be made available by December this year.
The Ministry has placed an order with SII for 25 crore doses of Covishield and with Bharat Biotech for 19 crore doses of Covaxin, an official release said today.
These 44 crores (25+19 cr) doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be available till December 2021, starting now, it said.
Additionally, 30% of the advance for procurement of both the Covid Vaccines has been released to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech.
The central government has been supporting the efforts of States and UTs for an effective Vaccination drive under the ‘Whole of Government” approach since 16th January this year, the release said.
Now with the aim to further universalize the countrywide vaccination drive, all citizens above 18 years of age can receive the COVID19 vaccine doses free of cost at Government health facilities, the statement read.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister said the central government would procure 75 percent of Covid vaccines produced by the companies and provide those free to the states. The rest 25 percent of vaccines can be procured by private hospitals, which can charge Rs 150 as Service Charge above the cost of purchase of each dose.