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Government confident India will have over 2 billion vaccine doses by December, minister says

The Indian government is confident that the country will be able to meet an ambitious target of having more than 2 billion coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of the year, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Last month, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a statement that India will have 516 million vaccine doses by July, including shots already administered, and that the number will rise to 2.16 billion doses between August and December.

“We have paid the two existing domestic manufacturers, Serum Institute (of India) and Bharat Biotech, advance money to produce vaccines for the whole of May, June, and July. We are only past May,” Puri told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill in an interview. He explained that the government is also in advanced stages of talks with other vaccine manufacturers.

The government is “absolutely confident of being able to meet this target by December,” Puri added. In its forecast, the Indian government expects about 750 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is being locally produced by the Serum Institute of India and is known as Covishield. Another 550 million doses of Covaxin, which is developed and produced by Indian company Bharat Biotech, are also expected.


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