Covaxin puzzle: 6 crore ready shots, 2 crore dice. Where are the others? | India News
The compilation of statements from the company and the Center indicate that at least 6 crore doses should have been available for use in India. So where are the missing two-thirds?
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech declined to comment despite repeated attempts. Now consider the production figures. Krishna Ella, the company’s CMD, recorded on April 20 that it said 15 million doses had been produced in March and that April would end the month’s production at 20 million doses. He also said that production in May would be 30 million or 3 million rupees, but suppose the planned expansion did not happen. That would still mean 35 million doses in March and April and most of another 20 million in May.
The Center also has, in at least two separate affidavits, one in Supreme Court and one in Kerala HC as recently as May 24, stated that Covaxin production is 2 crore doses per month. All of this together suggests production close to the 5.5 million rupees near the end of May.
Additionally, Krishna Ella, CMD of Bharat Biotech, said on January 5 before the vaccination campaign began that the company had stockpiled 20 million doses of the vaccine. That brings the total to 7.5 million rupees. Add the production in January and February, which was at a much lower level than in March-April, and it comes to around 8 crore doses.
Of course, some of this may have been exported when the country was indulging in vaccine diplomacy. But all of India’s vaccine exports combined are around 6.6 crore doses. Most of this has been Covishield. Even if we assume that 2 million rupees was Covaxin,
In the most unlikely scenario, there should have been 6 crore doses available for use in India at this time. So what explains that only 2.1 crore is used? Several states have complained about a shortage of Covaxin in particular. In Delhi, for example, the government had to close the centers running Covaxin this week, even for those awaiting a second injection.
The data shows that the extent to which different states have used Covaxin varies significantly. In Delhi, Covaxin had a share of almost 31%, much higher than in any other state / UT. Up to 14 of the smaller states and UTs have not administered a single dose of Covaxin and in another five the injection represented less than 5% of the total. States / UTs like Delhi face a major crisis from any disruption in supplies, as they would have large numbers of people waiting for a second injection of the Bharat Biotech vaccine.