While elucidating on its own data about the number of procurement and distribution of vaccines, it seems to suggest that the government has distributed/supplied over 6.95 crores vaccine doses more than what it procured.
As COVID-19 cases are starting to recede, on one hand, India’s struggling to meet the huge surge in vaccine demand. The ‘pharmacy of the world’ is overwhelmed with the number of doses required, even putting vaccine manufacturers off their target, for their existing production capacities are proving no match to the demand among citizens.
In response to an RTI filed by Commodore Lokesh Batra, there seems to have emerged a discrepancy and some unanswered questions from the government. While elucidating on its own data about the number of procurement and distribution of vaccines, it seems to suggest that the government has distributed/supplied over 6.95 crores vaccine doses more than what it procured.
“Initially, the Government of India through PM-CARES Funds was procuring the COVID-19 vaccines COVISHIELD manufactured by M/s Serum Institute of India (procured 5.6 crores doses) at the unit cost of Rs.210/- including taxes (Rs.200 + 5% GST) and COVAXIN manufactured by M/s Bharat Biotech International Limited (procured 1.0 crores doses) at the unit cost of Rs. 309.75/- including taxes (Rs. 295 + 5% GST).”
“However, at present Government of India through Union Budget is procuring/procured the COVID-19 vaccines (COVISHILED 10 crores doses and COVAXIN 2 crores doses) at the unit cost of Rs. 157.50/- including taxes (Rs.150 + 5% GST). The procurement of COVID-19 vaccine is ongoing process.”
C) In total vaccines doses received till 02.05.2021 were 16.23 crores (6.6crores + 9.6 crores)
According to data on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs, a total of all vaccines exported to 95 countries under COVAX, Commercial and Grant come to around 6.64 crore doses (till 2nd May 2021)
The total vaccines given to states/UTs and exported come to 23.18 crores, as of 2nd May 2021 (16.54 crores + 6.64 crores)
Also Read: Maharashtra Eases Lockdown, Restrictions Completely Lifted In 18 Districts With Low Cases
Here’s The Catch
Now there’s a clear discrepancy in data as far as vaccine doses procured and supplied are concerned. If you subtract the total vaccines supplied (23.18 crores) with the doses the Centre procured (16.23 crores), which brings to an excess of 6.95 crores doses
Here’s a pertinent question to ask – how is the distribution or supply of vaccines more than the doses the Centre’s procurement?