Government gives Rs 4500 crores as a booster dose to vaccine producers to expand production and supply
The government has approved advance payment of Rs 4,500 crore to the vaccine companies Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech. This will help the vaccine companies to increase production and supply in the coming time. This decision to pay advance to vaccine companies is very important because the government has decided to give a vaccine to all persons above the age of 18 years. The third phase of vaccination will start from May 1. This is expected to help curb the second wave of Covid in the country.
By July this year, SII will provide 20 crore doses to the government and Bharat Biotech will provide nine crore doses. These two companies will provide the vaccine at a predetermined price of Rs 150 per dose.
Sources said that the Finance Ministry has relaxed the rules to ensure advance payment without a bank guarantee. This will help the companies making the vaccine to increase production.
SII will get Rs 3,000 crore and Bharat Biotech will get an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore.
Earlier this month, the CEO of Serum Institute, Adar Poonawalla, said that it would require about Rs 3,000 crore to increase production capacity to produce the Covid-19 vaccine.
Under the third phase of vaccination, manufacturers will have to supply 50 percent of their monthly dosage to the government. The remaining doses can be made available to the state governments or sold in the open market.
Vaccination will continue for healthcare and frontline workers and those over 45 years of age as before.
Recent statistics show that with the addition of more than 2.59 lakh new cases of Covid-19, the number of people infected with Covid-19 in India has reached 1.53 crore so far. This makes India the second most affected country after America. There were over 31 million cases of virus infection in the US. According to the latest figures in India, the death toll from Covid-19 has crossed 1.8 lakhs.