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Health ministry seeks five crore free Covishield doses from GAVI under COVAX

Amid rising cases of coronavirus in the country, the government started providing precaution doses free of cost to those aged 18 years and above for the next 75 days under the ‘COVID vaccination Amrit Mahotsava'

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The health ministry has asked global vaccine alliance GAVI to supply five crore of the allocated 10 crore doses of Covishield to India under the COVAX facility free of cost, official sources said recently.

Amid rising cases of coronavirus in the country, the government started providing precaution doses free of cost to those aged 18 years and above for the next 75 days under the ‘COVID vaccination Amrit Mahotsava.’

According to an official source, Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Serum Institute of India (SII), had written a letter to the health ministry in April for use of 10 crore doses of Covishield offered free of cost by GAVI.

“As COVID cases are rising again in our country, using this immediately available 100 million (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 mentioned in his letter to ministry in April.

Pune-based SII had stated 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.

According to sources, after utilisation of five crore doses of Covishield, the requirement will be reviewed, and, if needed, GAVI will be asked to supply the remaining five crore doses.

Edits by EP News Bureau

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