The Serum Institute of India (SII) has urged the Centre to use the available 10 crore doses of Covishield offered free of cost by GAVI under COVAX facility in view of rising COVID-19 cases in the country, an official source said.
The firm has written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) that if these 10 crore free doses of Covishield are not taken by the Indian government timely, it will lead to wastage of the life saving vaccines amid the pandemic outbreak.
In a letter to the ministry, Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, SII, is learnt to have stated that the firm has already supplied 14 crore doses of Covishield to the Government of India (GoI) through the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) under “COVAX” facility of GAVI free of cost.
Apart from these 14 crore doses, GAVI has also offered 10 crore doses of Covishield free of cost to Gol under COVAX facility, the source said.
“As COVID cases are rising again in our country, using this immediately available 10 crore free of cost Covishield vaccine doses by GAVI for our citizens at the earliest would be beneficial in controlling the upsurge of COVID-19. This will play a crucial role in taking forward the world’s largest vaccination drive under visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji towards its successful completion,” Singh is learnt to have stated.
The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has so far exceeded 187.67 crores.
Edits by EP News Bureau