Biocon Executive Chairman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has expressed concern over shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and sought better transparency from the government regarding their availability so that citizens could patiently wait for their turn. India has announced expansion of its COVID-19 vaccination drive by allowing its large population aged over 18 to get inoculated from May 1.
“Very concerned about why vaccines are in such short supply. Can we please know where the 70 million doses are being deployed every month? @MoHFW_INDIA We need better transparency to avoid the suspense. If a timetable of supplies is made public people can patiently wait their turn,” Mazumdar-Shaw said in a tweet on Tuesday while tagging the Health Ministry.
Earlier this month, while responding to media reports alleging that centre has not placed any fresh order for COVID-19 vaccines, the Health Ministry had noted that 100 per cent advance of Rs 1,732.50 crore has been released to the Serum Institute of India (SII) on April 28 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine during May, June and July.
The ministry had also stated that against the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till May 3. SII had endorsed the government statement and said it had received the orders. The Health Ministry had further noted that 100 per cent advance of Rs 787.50 crore was released on April 28 to Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) for five crore Covaxin doses during May, June and July.
Bharat Biotech Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella confirmed in a tweet that the vaccine major has commenced direct supply of ‘Covaxin’ to 14 states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, with effect from May 1.
The Hyderabad-based firm has started supplying its COVID-19 treatment vaccine to the states based on the allocations received by the central government, she had noted.