Four more Indian pharmaceutical companies are expected to start production of COVID vaccines by October-November, Union health minister said
During Question Time at Rajya Sabha, Mansukh Mandaviya said India has so far administered 47 crore doses of the vaccine.
Representative image. PA
New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told parliament on Tuesday that four more Indian pharmaceutical companies are expected to start tackling the Coronavirus vaccine production by October-November which will speed up the vaccination campaign.
During question time at Rajya Sabha, Mandaviya said India had administered 47 crore vaccine doses so far and the Center was working to vaccinate the whole country as soon as possible.
Even 7 to 9 percent of doses that remain unused by private hospitals are used by government vaccination centers, he added.
Mandaviya was speaking amid a din in the house at the opposition’s demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue and agricultural laws.
“The vaccination campaign is going smoothly … It will accelerate further in the coming days with the increased production of four other Indian companies,” said the minister.
The government expects that by October-November, four more Indian pharmaceutical companies will start producing indigenous vaccines that will help meet domestic demand, he said.
Biologicals E and Novartis vaccines will also be available on the market in the coming days, while Zydus Cadila will soon get an emergency opinion from a committee of experts, the Union health minister said.
Currently, two companies (Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute) are supplying the vaccine to the government. The Sputnik vaccine is also available and production has started, he added.
To a question from Amar Patnaik, a member of the BJD, about the vaccine deployment plan for 12-18 year olds and the need for a third or fourth dose, Mandaviya said: “The goal of the government is to vaccinate whole population as soon as possible and constant efforts. are made to achieve it. “
Unlike BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) and polio vaccines that arrived in India much later after its launch in other parts of the world, the vaccine against coronavirus was made available in India at the same time to the world thanks to the efforts of Narendra Modi government, he said
The prime minister has taken action, supported scientists and businesses to ensure the availability of vaccines in the country at the earliest, the minister said.
“So vaccination campaigns have started in India, which has so far administered 47 crore in doses, the maximum in the world. We will accelerate it further in the coming days,” he said.
Responding to a question from BJP member Susheel Kumar Modi about the government’s plan to reduce the vaccine quota at private hospitals, the minister said this was not necessary because the unused vaccine quota from private hospitals is taken by the government.
“In one month, we saw seven to nine percent of unused vaccines by private hospitals. So we decided to take these unused doses from the government’s quota. Therefore, it is not necessary to reduce the quota for the private. Vaccination takes place. smoothly, ”he said.
The Center buys 75 percent of the vaccine produced to give people free injections, while 25 percent goes to the private sector, the health minister added.