Niti Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul said, “We have visibility of 15 crore (150 million) doses for August. We will bring you the exact numbers at the next meeting but, as of now, we have visibility of 15 crore for next month.”
India needs to scale up its vaccine supply to 300 million doses per month to achieve its target of inoculating all adults above 18 years by December 31. The ministry of health and family welfare has consistently maintained that its target is to inoculate about 94 crore Indians by December 31. This would require availability of 188 crore doses by December 31 to fully vaccinate all adults.
The dose availability came on a day newly-appointed health minister Mansukh Mandaviya briefed the weekly parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday. The minister said Covid-19 vaccines for children between 12 and 17 years may be available by August end.
Speaking to reporters later at the weekly health ministry briefing, joint secretary (health) Lav Aggarwal said, “Vaccines are under trial and they will be rolled out after data has been examined by experts.”
The subject expert committee (SEC) will be examining data of the Zydus Cadila vaccine, which is a two-dose vaccine and has been tested for children between 12-17 years. The health ministry had submitted this in its affidavit to the Supreme Court where it said that Zydus Cadila had completed its clinical trials and the vaccine would be available “in the near future”. The BJP has directed its MPs to spread the message among people in their constituencies about the efforts made by the government to fight Covid, provide vaccines and oxygen and the ramp-up of medical infrastructure to meet the present and future challenges.