Centre’s vaccination bill nears Rs 9,725 crore, Lok Sabha told

Rs 9,725.15 crore – that is the vaccination bill for India so far.

The Centre has spent Rs 8,071.09 crore to buy vaccines and remaining about Rs 1,654.06 crore on operational costs for administering the vaccines, as per details shared by the health and family welfare ministry in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Giving a detailed account of its vaccination exercise through numerous responses to questions raised by MPs, the ministry for the first time revealed that it has placed seven orders for vaccine procurement since the Covid-19 public immunisation drive was rolled out on January 16.

In a response to a question from Congress MP S Jothimani, the ministry gave details of communication by nodal procurement agency HLL Lifecare for procurement of vaccines.

The first communication to the two vaccine manufacturers – Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India – was sent on January 10, six days before the vaccination drive rollout.

The first order was placed for 1.65 crore vaccine doses (1.1 crore doses of Covishield and 0.55 crore Covaxin). This was followed by second order on February 3 for 1.45 crore doses (1 crore Covishield and 0.45 crore Covaxin), third on February 10 for 1.5 crore doses of Covishield, fourth on February 24 for 2 crores of Covishield, and a fifth order on March 12 for 12 crore doses (10 crore of Covishield and 2 crore of Covaxin).

There was no communication by HLL in April and June.

The reply shows that a sixth order was placed on May 5 for 11 crore doses of Covishield and 5 crore for Covaxin. Till date, Bharat Biotech has not completed this order as 3.84 crore doses of Covaxin are still getting delivered.

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