The Centre will provide as many as 192 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the states and Union Territories free of cost this month. According to a statement issued by the Health Ministry, doses will be shared with the states and UTs between May 16 and 31.
"Between May 16 and 31, 191.99 lakh doses of Covishield and Covaxin will be supplied to the States and UTs, free of cost. This will include 162.5 lakh of Covishield and 29.49 lakh of Covaxin," the ministry said.
The delivery schedule will be shared in advance, it said, adding that states have been requested to direct the concerned officials to ensure rational and judicious utilization of allocated doses and minimize the vaccine wastage.
"The basic objective behind informing the States/UTs in advance of the quantum of free vaccine doses to be made available from the Centre for 15 days is to ensure that they prepare effective plans for judicious and optimum utilisation of these free vaccine doses which are meant for the age group 45 and above, and for HCWs and FLWs," the ministery said.
In the previous fortnight (May 1 to 15), it said that a total quantum of more than 1.7 crore vaccine doses has been made available by the Centre to states free of cost.
The allocation of Centre's supplies to the State/UT is decided on the consumption pattern and beneficiary load for second doses during the upcoming fortnight, the ministry said. In addition, a total quantum of more than 4.39 crore doses was also available for direct procurement by the States as well as private hospitals in the month of May 2021.
Meanwhile, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country is nearly 18 crore. COVID-19 vaccination drive has successfully completed 118 days wherein 17.89 crore doses have been administered to the identified beneficiaries through collaborative efforts of all States/UTs. India is the fastest country globally to reach the 17 crore target in 114 days. The US took 115 days and China took 119 days to administer the same amount of doses.
The 'Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy' is being implemented from May 1 wherein 50% of the available doses are earmarked for supply to States/UTs, as free of cost supply from the Centre's channel, while the remaining 50% is available for direct procurement from the vaccine manufacturers by States/UTs and private hospitals.