On the 3rd of May, the Government of India (GoI,) denied media reports alleging that, the GoI did not place fresh orders of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine.
The statement came hours after a section of media alleges the Central Government for not placing fresh orders of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccines. The reports also claimed, “The last order placed with the two vaccine makers (100 million doses with SII and 20 million doses with Bharat Biotech) was in March 2021.
Acting upon the same, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said, “These media reports are completely incorrect, and are not based on facts.”
The press statement was released on the afternoon of Monday, amid criticism of netizens. This is not the first time the Central Government criticised the GoI for mishandling the COVID-19 situation. The netizens and the opposition parties blamed the Union Government for not having enough stock of beds, medical infrastructure, oxygen supply and now vaccination for COVID-19 patients.
Highlighting about the recent allegations of not placing fresh orders, the report that first appeared on a business daily and eventually picked up a few others.
According to the reports, the Central Government has not yet placed fresh orders with the two Indian vaccine manufacturers – Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech – even as several vaccination centres across the country reported shortages.
In the past few weeks, many states like Maharashtra, Telangana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal reported a shortage of vaccines. These states even informed people not to vaccinate people between 18 and 44 years of age group due to the shortage.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Union Health said, the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine and 8.744 crore doses of COVAXIN have been delivered till the 3rd of May.
The statement further read, “It is clarified that 100 per cent advance of Rs 1732.50 crore (after TDS Rs 1699.50 crore) was released to Serum Institute of India (SII) on April 28 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine during May, June and July, and was received by them on April 28.”
Additionally, 100 per cent advance of Rs 787.50 crore (after TDS Rs 772.50 crore) was released on April 28 to Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) for five crore COVAXIN doses during May, June and July, and was received by them on the 28th of April.