The Centre has expressed optimism that a swift scale-up of COVID-19 vaccine availability from June should ensure that the current crunch, particularly for the 18-44 age group, ends by July. Following this, it will be feasible to vaccinate India's entire adult population of approx. 95 crore by this December, according to government sources.
"We have all expectations and are fully confident of being able to achieve the goal of vaccinating the above 18 population by year-end," a senior official told The Times of India.
Doses can be delivered to people who are willing to take them as there is no shortage of vaccines that are sourced from Indian manufacturers, the official added. Providing a break-up of anticipated COVID-19 vaccine availability, the official noted that the number of vaccines available in May would be 8.5 crore, 10 crore in June, 15 crore in July, 36 crore in August, 50 crore in September, 56 crore in October, 59 crore in November and 65 crore in December. The official further said that these estimates are "dynamic", but on the conservative side.
Explaining the availability of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in the country, the sources added that around 60 lakh Sputnik V doses will be delivered in May, followed by 1 crore doses in June, 2.5 crore in July and 1.6 crore in August.
The makers of Sputnik V have inked a deal with Dr Reddy's Laboratories which has arrangements with other companies as well, and the number of doses delivered would increase drastically post-August. It is expected to exceed 7 crore a month in November-December 2021.
The sources said that around 40% of doses have been delivered in May and the rest will follow, though there could be a possible spillover to June 2021.
Serum Institute of India-produced Covishield COVID-19 vaccine's availability is likely to be 6.5 crore in June, 7 crore in July, 10 crore in August and 11.5 crore in September, October, November and December. While Bharat Biotech's Covaxin availability is expected to be 2.5 crore in June, 7.5 crore in July and August,7.7 crore in September, 10.2 crore in October and November and 13.5 crore in December.