New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday updated that more than 23 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and union territories ever since the onset of Covid-19 vaccination drive. The ministry further stated that 1.64 crore vaccine doses are still available with states even as many cry vaccine shortage.
The government of India has so far provided 23,35,86,960 vaccine doses to the states/UTs, both through the free of cost category and the direct state procurement category.
Of these, the total consumption, including wastages, is 21,71,44,022 doses (as per the data available till 8 am on Wednesday), the ministry said.
More than 1.64 crore vaccine doses (1,64,42,938) are still available with the states/UTs for administration to the beneficiaries.
"The Govt. of India has also been facilitating direct procurement of vaccines by the States/UTs. Vaccination is an integral pillar of the comprehensive strategy of Government of India for containment and management of the pandemic, along with Test, Track, Treat and Covid Appropriate Behaviour," it added.
In a development that would intensify vaccine procurement, Drugs Controller General of India has waived the requirement of testing every batch of foreign-made Covid-19 vaccines by the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli.
The decision comes after Pfizer and Cipla's indemnity demands during talks with government to supply vaccine doses to India. Earlier, NITI Aayog (Health) member VK Paul had said that Pfizer has said that they could supply some doses of their vaccine by July.
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India started its vaccination programme on January 16 with two approved vaccines - Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Covishield by Serum Institute of India. The country has also granted regulatory approval to Russian vaccine, Sputnik V.