With the central government likely to showcase its Covid-19 vaccination programme as a big achievement in the upcoming elections, it is set to touch another landmark — of 100 crore vaccine doses — this month, a top government source said.
As the focus is on vaccinating the entire eligible population as early as possible, the government will consider exporting the vaccines only in the fourth quarter.
“Export of vaccines is not the priority now. We will see what the excess production is in the fourth quarter and will decide on exporting,” said the source.
However, the source added that India has not decided on providing booster doses for the vulnerable yet. “There is no expert opinion in India over the booster doses,” he said. Experts from the WHO had recommended that Covid -19 booster doses should be offered to moderately and severely immunocompromised people.
India has already vaccinated 96 crore people – 73 per cent of the eligible people received the first dose and 29 per cent have got both doses.
The country will produce 28 crore doses of vaccines in October, of which 22 crore will be Covishield and six crore will be Covaxin. As many as 60 lakh doses of Zydus Cadila’s three-dose Covid-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D are ready for distribution. The Ahmedabad-based pharma company had received the emergency use authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in August. ZyCoV-D, a needle-free coronavirus vaccine, is the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine for Covid-19.