"We endorse this statement, & the authenticity of the information. We have been working closely with the Government of India for the past year & thank it for its support. We remain committed to ramping up our vaccine production to save every life we can," SII said on Twitter.
The announcements were made ahead of a virtual meeting between Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on cooperation between UK and India to enhance trade.
Serum Institute of India (SII) on Monday endorsed the government statement that 100 per cent advance of Rs 1,732.50 crore has been released to the company on April 28 for 11 crore doses of the Covishield vaccine for May, June and July.
“We endorse this statement, & the authenticity of the information. We have been working closely with the Government of India for the past year & thank it for its support. We remain committed to ramping up our vaccine production to save every life we can,” SII said on Twitter.
The company’s response came after the Health Ministry in a statement refuted allegations that it has not placed any fresh orders for the Covishield vaccine with SII.
The Health Ministry earlier said that it has paid the entire advance of Rs 1,732.50 crore to SII for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine for three months — May, June and July.
The amount, which after TDS was Rs 1,699.50 crore, was received by the SII on April 28 itself, it said. As on date, against the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till May 3, the ministry said, adding, media reports alleging that the Centre has not placed any fresh order for COVID-19 vaccines are “incorrect and not based on facts”.
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. The amount was received by them on April 28.
As on date against the last order of two crore doses for supplies of Covaxin vaccine, 0.8813 crore doses have been delivered till May 3, the ministry said.
“Hence, to say that fresh orders have not been placed by the Government of India is not correct,” it said. As of May 2, the Centre has provided more 16.54 crore vaccine doses to states and union territories free of cost.
More than 78 lakh doses are still available with them to be administered, the ministry said. “More than 56 lakh doses, in addition, will be received by states and UTs in the next three days,” it stated.
Under the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, the Government of India would continue to procure its share of 50 per cent of the monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccines and would continue to make it available to the state governments totally free of cost as was being done earlier, the ministry stated.