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Top government advisor Dr VK Paul said on Thursday that the central government and Bharat Biotech – which manufactures Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin – are willing to invite other companies which want to produce it. Dr Paul said that the decision has been taken to scale up the vaccine production.
“People say that Covaxin be given to other companies for manufacturing. I am happy to say that Covaxin manufacturing company (Bharat Biotech) has welcomed this when we discussed it with them. Under this vaccine live virus is inactivated and this is done only in BSL3 labs,” said Dr Paul.
“Not every company has this. We give an open invitation to companies who want to do this. Companies that want to manufacture Covaxin, should do it together. The government will assist so that capacity is increased,” he added.
Talking about the vaccination coverage in his presentation NITI Aayog member emphasised that one-third of the population aged 45 years and above are now covered.
Many states in the country have said that there is a shortage of Covid-19 vaccine which has caused them to stop ongoing inoculation drive. Worst-affected Maharashtra and Delhi are among these states. Karnataka too announced on Thursday that it has stopped the vaccination drive.
Highlighting the latest feat achieved by the country, Dr Paul disclosed that nearly 18 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in India, whereas, in the US, the number stands around 26 crore which shows that India stands in the third position in the overall vaccination tally in the world.
As many as 3,62,727 new Covid-19 cases, 3,52,181 discharges and 4,120 deaths were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Thursday.
The total positive cases in the country so far stand at 2,37,03,665. This includes 1,97,34,823 recoveries and 2,58,317 reported deaths. There are currently 37,10,525 active cases in the country.
A total of 17,72,14,256 doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered so far.