Serum Institute of India contributes most to vaccination drive as others lag

SII has delivered more than what it had committed and helped the government keep the vaccination drive on track. (Photo source: IE)

The country is all set to reach the 100-crore vaccination mark in the next couple of days. A majority of these vaccines have been supplied by Serum Institute of India (SII). As on Monday morning, the country had administered 98.55 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. On Monday, 83.30 lakh doses were administered till 7.15 pm. Nearly 88% of doses administered so far has been SII’s Covishield vaccine. Apart from supplying to the Indian market, SII had also exported 6.7 crore vaccines taking the total Covishield vaccines administered to 93.39 crore. Vaccination has been the most important tool against the pandemic. Nearly 75% of the adult population has received their first dose while around 30% have received both doses and is fully vaccinated. More than 10.72 crore vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories.

SII has delivered more than what it had committed and helped the government keep the vaccination drive on track. From an estimated 50 crore doses expected from SII between August and December, the company would end up delivering more than double of this to the country. As the country reaches the 100 crore vaccination mark, SII would also be crossing the 100 crore production mark at its Pune vaccine manufacturing facility.

In May 2021, member Niti Aayog, VK Paul had said between August and December the country would get 216 crore doses, of which SII’s contribution would be 75 crore Covishield doses, Bharat Biotech would make 55 crore doses of Covaxin and Russian Sputnik vaccine would make available 15.6 crore vaccine doses. But these targets were scaled down by June end and as per the government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court, SII was to produce 50 crore doses of Covishield, Bharat Biotech was to produce 40 crore doses of Covaxin and 10 crore doses by Sputnik.

Only SII has managed to exceed these numbers. As on Sunday, SII had already delivered 86.69 crore vaccines which was 36.69 crore more doses than committed. Bharat Biotech has delivered 11.28 crore doses of Covaxin compared to the 40 crore expected from them. Russia’s Sputnik has made a minor contribution of 44.88 lakh vaccines as against 10 crore doses planned from the Russian vaccine maker as rise in Covid cases in Russia had affected supplies.

Even as Zydus Cadila is ready, but it yet to become part of the vaccination programme. Healthcare workers are being trained to handle their needle-free applicators and the pricing of the three-dose ZyCovD vaccine has not been announced yet. It is supposed to supply 5 crore doses by December.

Biological E was to supply 30 crore doses but trials have not concluded yet. Gennova Biopharma has a target to supply six crore vaccines by December and trials are still going on.

As the pace of vaccination has been accelerated, the rate of infections have steadily declined and has been below 20,000 for the last few days. The Government of India has provided 102.05 crore doses to the states and union territories free of cost. India reported 13,596 cases on Monday, which was the lowest in 230 days. Active case load was down to 1.89 lakhs, the lowest in the last 221 days. The daily positivity rate was at 1.37%.

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