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Covid-19: 1.2 billion doses needed as of May, capacity for 115 million / month | India News

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MUMBAI: There would be a need for an additional 1.2 billion doses (assuming two injections per person) starting in May, with the government opening vaccination for everyone over 18 years of age. This is because it is estimated that 44% or about 600 million of the country’s population is in the 18-45 age group.
Assuming increased capacity for June, three vaccine companies: Serum Institute (100m doses per month from Covishield), Bharat Biotech (10m per month from Covaxin) and Dr. Reddy (around 4m doses per month from Sputnik V) together they will be able to deliver just 115 million hits per month, barely around 10% of total demand.
This comes with an additional clause that Dr. Reddy’s will initially be able to import a limited number of doses of Sputnik V from Russia, and there will be no additional vaccines available to the country until the middle of the year.
The projection does not take into account four additional vaccines, including the indigenous Zydus Cadila vaccine, and three foreign J&J, Novavax and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines scheduled for later this year. Zydus Cadila is expected to apply for regulatory approval in June, while a minimal contribution from the J&J vaccine (which faces clot and suspension issues in many countries) and no contribution from Pfizer (limited supplies) and Novavax ( still in rehearsals). J&J has submitted an application to the Comptroller General of Medicines of India seeking approval to conduct a bridging clinical study of its single dose Janssen Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Currently, the combined monthly capacity of both vaccine manufacturers, Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, is approximately 75 m doses. A further increase in capacity is expected at both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute in the coming months. The Pune-based company has faced a shortage of key raw materials from the US, which has hampered the expansion of its capacity. Furthermore, at this rate, vaccination of the 18- to 45-year-old age group could take more than a year with the limited number of doses available in the country, the experts added. With the total monthly capacity of Serum and Bharat Biotech tied up under the Center’s advance purchase agreement, there may not be much capacity left to supply state governments or the private market. For its part, Serum will be able to market Covishield on the private market only after a few months, and not before August or September, sources say. There is no clarity on how the deliveries will work for state governments and how prices will be determined, a company official said.
Faster approvals for potential new vaccines (including Zydus Cadila), import of fully ready-to-use vaccines like J&J, and better prices would help improve capacity to meet demand for around 1.2b doses of vaccine, Motilal’s Tushar Manudhane Oswal Institutional Stocks told TOI.
The projection does not take into account four additional vaccines, including the indigenous Zydus Cadila vaccine, and three foreign J&J, Novavax and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines scheduled for later this year.

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