NEW DELHI: India has administered more than 17 crore doses of the COVID19 vaccine in the country so far. These include over 95 lakh 46 thousand Healthcare Workers who have taken the 1st dose and more than 64 lakh Health care workers who have taken the 2nd dose.
Over one crore 39 lakh Frontline Workers have taken the 1st dose and more than 77 lakh front line workers have taken the 2nd dose. India had launched the world’s largest Vaccination Drive on 16th January this year.
The total number of doses administered across the country so far stands at 17,01,53,432, the ministry said. The beneficiaries include 95,46,871 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose of the vaccine and 64,71,090 HCWs who have taken the second dose; 1,39,71,341 frontline workers (FLWs) who have received the first dose and 77,54,283 FLWs who have taken the second dose; and 20,29,395 people in the 18-44 age group who have taken the first dose.
Besides, 5,51,74,561 and 65,55,714 beneficiaries in the 45-60 age group have been administered the first and second dose respectively, while 5,36,72,259 and 1,49,77,918 beneficiaries above 60 years have taken the first and second dose respectively.
As many as 6,71,646 vaccine doses were administered on Sunday, the 114th day of the vaccination drive, the ministry said.
Pune-based Serum Institute of India is supplying Covishield to the Centre for Rs 150 a dose while to states for Rs 300 a dose. Private Hospitals are getting it at double the state’s price at Rs 600.
Whereas, Covaxin manufacturer Bharat Biotech has priced its vaccine at Rs 150 a dose for the Centre, Rs 600 a dose for state governments and Rs 1,200 a dose for private hospitals. Both anti-Covid vaccines are administered in two doses.
Calling for free inoculation, the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Kharge in his letter said the Parliament had allocated Rs 35,000 crore in the Union budget to ensure free vaccines for all. He also urged the Prime Minister to immediately convene an all-party meeting to collectively forge a holistic blueprint to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dispelling claims of vaccine shortage in states, Thakur said 72 lakh doses are still available with states and union territories.
On further supply of vaccines, he said that “1.5 lakh doses of Sputnik V have already reached India and RDIF has also tied up with local Indian companies for bulk production.”
Mamata Vs Sitharaman On GST On Vaccine:
On exempting vaccines from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the minister said a nominal five per cent GST is in the interest of the domestic manufacturer of vaccine and in the interest of citizens. If full exemption from GST is given, vaccine manufacturers would not be able to offset their input taxes and would pass them on to the end consumer or citizen by increasing the price, he added.
“Five per cent GST rate ensures that the manufacturer is able to utilise ITC and in case of overflow of ITC, claim a refund. Exemption to the vaccine from GST would be counterproductive without benefiting the consumer,” a tweet by Thakur said.
He also said the government has provided full exemption from Customs duties, including integrated GST, is already available to all COVID relief material imported by the Indian Red Cross Society for free distribution in the country to help contain the spread.
India recorded more than four lakh cases in a 24-hour span for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday. According to the Union health ministry, 4,03,738 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the said period, which took the nationwide tally to 2,22,96,414.
The death toll climbed to 2,42,362 with 4,092 daily deaths, as per the data released on Sunday.