New Delhi: Around 122 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed to inoculate 59 crore people in the age group of 18-45 years, the Centre told Supreme Court.
The Centre stated in an affidavit that vaccination is its topmost priority and all efforts are being made to achieve 100 per cent vaccination of the population in the shortest possible time, taking into consideration available resources and availability of vaccine doses, PTI reported.
“It is submitted that considering the limited availability of two vaccines which are presently available in India, namely Covaxin and Covisheild, it became incumbent upon the government to prioritise vaccination in the most scientific manner. It is submitted that while prioritising vaccination, the first priority was towards health workers.
“It is submitted that projected mid-year population for 2021 for the age group of 18 to 45 years is about 59 crore. To vaccinate this target, a total of 122 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine would be required (which factors in some vaccine wastage which is inevitable),” the Centre said.
The government further stated that it has fast-tracked emergency approvals of COVID vaccines being produced in other countries which have been cleared by their respective regulatory authorities.
“It is submitted that as per estimates the availability of locally manufactured Sputnik V vaccine will start from July onwards. It is expected that locally manufactured Sputnik V vaccine will be available to the extent of 8 million and 16 million doses (for 4 million and 8 million individuals) for the months of July and August 2021 respectively,” the Centre submitted.
“It is further submitted that the Union of India has been in constant touch with Pfizer, Moderna and J&J since mid-2020 with the objective of encouraging these companies to develop/ supply/manufacture their respective vaccine through their local partners in India.”
The apex court on April 22 took note of the worsening pandemic situation in the country and issued notice to the Union government seeking a national plan on vaccination method, oxygen supply and essential drugs like Remdesivir.