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Shortage of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

Bharat Biotech supplied 28 million doses of Covaxin vaccines to the central government till June 12, against orders of 80 million till May end. The Co-WIN dashboard shows that 38.2 million doses of Covaxin have been administered to date. This includes the allowances to the states and the private healthcare providers.

According to the Centre’s affidavit, over 1.8 million doses of Covaxin are pending against its order for 20 million doses in March. Supply against the government’s May order for a further 50 million doses had not yet begunThe government had also placed another order for 190 million doses of Covaxin earlier this month, supplies of which are expected to start from August.

In comparison, Serum Institute of India, the maker of Covishield, has fared better. The company has supplied 190.7 million doses till May. The affidavit shows that SII supplied a full order of 56 million doses from January-March. It supplied 100 million doses from March to May, and has subsequently supplied 34.7 million doses. The government expects vaccine availability to increase to 200 million-220 million in July, against around 120 million in June.

This will be possible only if there is a significant ramp-up in Covaxin production. Government officials last week said they expect Bharat Biotech to supply 100 million jabs in July. Health experts are unhappy with Bharat Biotech’s pace of production and say scrutiny of its production numbers are badly needed. Bharat Biotech has been able to supply less than 30 million doses in six months against central government orders and has not even started supplying the May 5 purchase order for 50 million doses.

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