'Over 28 cr Covid vaccine doses to be produced in October'

A health worker administers a COVID-19 jab to a man during a mass vaccination drive in Srinagar.
A health worker administers a COVID-19 jab to a man during a mass vaccination drive in Srinagar.Mubashir Khan/GK File

New Delhi: Noting that India's COVID-19 vaccination will cross the landmark of 100 crore vaccine doses in a few days, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday that the country will produce over 28 crore doses in October as it continues to ramp up its supply.

Speaking to reporters, Mandaviya said that nearly 73 percent of the eligible population has received a single dose of vaccine and around 29 percent both doses.

States have now over eight crore doses with them, he said.

Of the 28 crore doses to be available this month, up from more than 22 crore in September, nearly 22 crore will be Covishield and six crore will be Covaxin. Also, nearly 60 lakh DNA jabs will be produced, he said.

With around 97 crore vaccine doses administered so far, the numbers are expected to reach the 100 crore milestone next week, likely on October 19 or 20, he said.

Official sources said that as of now the health ministry has no plans to push booster doses as expert opinion on the matter is yet to crystallise.

They also expressed satisfaction at the overall vaccination programme, saying hardly any state is now complaining about lack of vaccines.

Asked about the political blame game between the Delhi BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital over restraint on the Chhath puja due to the pandemic, they noted that all states have SOPs in place about the observation of festivities and no politics should be done over this.

The Delhi government has written a letter to Mandaviya in this regard after the local BJP unit targeted the Arvind Kejriwal-led dispensation over it.

Asked whether the Union government is considering resumption of vaccine exports, official sources said it will be looked at only after the domestic requirement is met.

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