New Delhi: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Tuesday several Indian companies are increasing their production of Covid-19 vaccine production. Mansukh Mandaviya also said India may become the first in the world to develop a DNA-based vaccine against the Covid-19 virus. The current average monthly production capacity of Covishield by Serum Institute of India (SII) is 11 crore doses and of Covaxin by Bharat Biotech is 2.5 crore doses
Mandaviya was replying to a short duration discussion on Covid-19 management in Rajya Sabha. The minister said technology transfer to several companies has started. They will begin production in the coming days to reduce vaccine shortage in India.
“Cadila has completed third phase trial of its DNA vaccine. It has applied for emergency use authorisation before DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India). Our expert team is looking into it. When this will come in the market, India will be the only country where scientists have developed a DNA vaccine,” Mandaviya said.
The minister said that India has started getting 11-12 crore doses of SII’s Covishield vaccine per month. He also informed Bharat Biotech will supply 3.5 crore doses of its Covid vaccine in August. He said that the states are given vaccine availability projections 15 days in advance. So it is their responsibility to plan the inoculation drive accordingly.
Mandaviya said that ‘Biological E’ is conducting third phase of trial of its vaccine. It is expected to come in the market by September-October with 7.5 crore doses.
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“Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech have started trials on children. I expect their trials to be successful. We need to trust our scientists. I trust my scientists and indigenous companies,” Mandaviya asserted.
Mandaviya also talked regarding the allegation of suppressing Covid-19 deaths. The minister said that the registration of Covid-19 deaths is done by states. He informed that the central government has never asked any state to record less deaths or cases.
Mandaviya also told the House that 316 oxygen plants out of the total 1,573 planned have been commissioned. The rest will start operations by August-end.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge said that the government’s Covid-19 death toll figure of 4-5 lakh is ‘false’ and conservative. Kharge claimed the average number of deaths cannot be less than 52.4 lakh so far in India.