With an aim to vaccinate around 95 crore citizens above the age of 18 in the country, the Union government has set a target of administering 12 crore doses to the citizens in July with maximum allocation proposed for Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra on pro rata basis. Maharashtra has been leading the country in terms of vaccination with 3,02,84,576 doses administered till June 26 followed by UP with 2,98,66,130 doses administered during the same period.
In an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, the hearing for which took place on Tuesday, the Union government submitted a vaccine allocation plan for the entire country for the month of July based on the revised guidelines for implementation of National Covid Vaccination programme. The government said it will be procuring 75 per cent of the total 12 crore doses — 10 crore Covishield and two crore Covaxin doses –for administering them free-of-cost to eligible beneficiaries above 18 years of age. The remaining 25 per cent of the doses will be available for the private hospitals for their vaccination drives.
According to its submission, Uttar Pradesh has the largest target population in the 18 plus age group (15,04,98,822) in the country followed by Maharashtra which has 9,07,32,824 such potential beneficiaries. Thus, Uttar Pradesh has been allocated the maximum vaccine doses of 1,91,16,830 shots, including those through free service and private hospitals, the government said. Maharashtra would get 1,15,25,170 vaccine doses for the month.
The Union government has decided to follow the methodology of the pro rata population of 18 years and above age group for allocating vaccines. The other two factors that would be taken into consideration include the number of active cases in the state and progress of vaccination in each state.
Maharashtra is leading in vaccination through private hospitals with 41,99,760 doses of the total 1,56,30,130 doses administered so far. It is followed by West Bengal with 19,21,320 doses and Delhi with 18,09,980 doses. In Uttar Pradesh, 4,83,220 doses have been administered by private hospitals.
The Union government submitted that from January 2021 to July 31, a total of 51.6 crore doses will be available for allocation. The Union government stated that as per the projected midyear population for 2020, the total population of the country aged 18 years and above is approximately 93-94 crore. Administering two doses to these beneficiaries would require an estimated 186 to 188 crore vaccine doses. As many as 51.6 crore doses will be made available by July 31, leaving a requirement of approximately 135 crore vaccine doses for complete vaccination of the eligible population.
The Union government has planned to make available 135 crore doses till December-end, considering it would procure 50 crore doses of Covishield, 40 crore doses of Covaxin, 30 crore doses of Bio E Subunit vaccine, 5 crore of Zydus Cadila DNA vaccine and 10 crore doses of Sputnik V.
It also submitted that the vaccination drive would get a boost if it succeeds in its attempt to procure vaccines available outside India such as Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna.
Notably, on Tuesday, India’s drug regulator DCGI granted permission to Mumbai-based Cipla to import Moderna’s vaccine for restricted emergency use in the country.
The government stated its efforts were at the highest political executive level and diplomatic level to procure the vaccines developed in foreign countries for which the discussions were at an advanced stage.