Mumbai – The union government will be providing free vaccination to the citizens in the age group of 18 to 45 years, from the 21st of June. Dr VK Paul of the Niti Aayog informed that against this background, the union government has already placed an order for 740 million doses.
The union government has placed an order for 440 million doses of Covishield and Covaxin. Out of these, 250 million doses will be of Covishield and 19 million of Covaxin. Dr Paul said that the supply of these vaccines has started and will be completed by December. Before this, a report was received that the union government has placed an order for 300 million doses of the Corbeaux vaccine, indigenously developed by the Biological-E company. The union health ministry announced that it would pay an advance of ₹15 billion to Biological-E for the order.
The cost of the Covishield and Covaxin also will be paid in advance to the manufacturers. Dr Paul said that the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have already been given 30% of the cost in advance for Covishield and Covaxin. Meanwhile, the free vaccination to the 18 to 45 age group and free ration for the economically weaker sections will cost the union government ₹1.45 trillion. Out of these, nearly ₹500 billion will be spent on vaccination. The union government had made a provision of ₹350 billion in the annual budget. So the actual expenditure is well above the requirement.
While the announcement is being made regarding the second stage of vaccination, for the first time in two months, the number of new cases reported, in 24 hours, dropped below 100,000. This is a very comforting development. Nevertheless, vaccination and observance of rules will be vital to stop the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.