Covid vaccine production in India is ramped up and the country is likely to get 80 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses for adults between September and December this year, said Prof Narendra Kumar Arora, co-chair of COVAX facility -- the international vaccine-sharing initiative, in New Delhi on Monday.
The government aims to administer one crore doses per day, and its expected vaccine availability between August and December is about 135 crore doses.
"As the production is ramped up and availability is increased, we are expecting to deliver 20 crore monthly doses in September, 25 crores in October, and 35 crore each in November and December," Arora, President of AIIMS Jharkhand and Patna, said at the India Immunisation Summit, organised by leading health awareness institution Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council.
Noting that vaccine acceptance in India is among the highest in the world, Arora said that India has "invested more than Rs 2,000 crore in vaccine production in the past one-and-a-half years, and we are the largest vaccine producers in the world".
"As per the COWIN data, 6 to 7 per cent of the current doses are being administered by the private hospitals," he added.
According to the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report, more than 7.95 lakh vaccine doses have been administered in India on August 22, taking the total number of vaccine doses administered so far to 58.25 crore.
India currently has four vaccines approved for use: Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Sputnik and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D.
ZyCoV-D, the world's first DNA vaccine against Covid, is the second home-grown shot after Covaxin.
India on Monday reported a substantial decline in fresh Covid cases with a total of 25,072 detected across the nation in the 24 hours. In the same duration, 389 deaths were reported pushing the toll to 4,34,756, said the Covid bulletin released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Meanwhile, India also aims to roll out vaccines for children between the age group 12-18 by September.
"Presently, Phase 2 and 3 trials of Covaxin are going on for children in the age group of 2-18 years. Hopefully, the results are going to be available very soon. The results will be presented to the regulators. So, by September or just after it, we may have Covid-19 vaccines for children," said Priya Abraham, Director of ICMR-NIV, in a recent interview with India Science, the OTT channel of the Department of Science & Technology.
ZyCoV-D vaccine was also tested in the adolescent population in the 12-18 years age group in India and was found to be safe and very well tolerated.
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