Centre explains: Vaccine production can’t be ramped up overnight
On Friday, the Union health ministry stated that vaccine production takes time and that even if it is doubled, it will not result in an immediate rise in availability because this is not an overnight procedure. A vaccine, according to the Centre, is a biological product of medicinal importance that takes time to harvest and analyse for quality. According to the government, which defended its vaccination strategy, production expansion must also be guided because the ultimate result must be safe.
The statement comes after Congressman Rahul Gandhi questioned the immunisation rate and stated that there is no immunisation strategy. At the current rate, it will take another three years to vaccinate the entire population, and by that time, India will have had several pandemic waves.
Prakash Javadekar, the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, responded to the criticism by stating that the health ministry has a plan in place to vaccinate the entire population of the country by December 2021, as production capacity for current vaccines will be increased and more vaccines will be approved in the coming days.
Covid-19 vaccinations are in great demand around the world, and manufacturers in different nations have limited manufacturing capacity, according to the government. Despite the shortages, India has vaccinated 200 million people in only 130 days, making it the world’s third-largest coverage.
The health ministry has denied reports that four crore Covaxin doses had gone missing, claiming that the reports are false. “Some sections reporting the above situation have made a misunderstanding about Bharat Biotech’s assertions of 6 crore dosages,” it stated.
According to the government, Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical business, has given the Centre with 2,76,66,860 vaccine doses as of May 28. In April, it produced 1 crore vaccine doses per month, and in July-August, it would produce 7-7 crore vaccine doses per month. By September, the total number of dosages produced would have surpassed 10 crore.
Several publications indicated that there is a difference between what Bharat Biotech claims to be producing and the vaccine supply, citing affidavits filed by the Centre and Bharat Biotech’s earlier declarations.