India halts vaccines exports, may resume in future: RTI Response

From May 5, India has halted the exports of vaccines which had erupted into a political furore across the country, as per an RTI reply released on Monday.

In a response to the RTI query filed by Pune-based activist Prafful Sarda, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has provided details of the vaccines exported in different categories to 95 countries till May 5.

To the question, the MEA has also made it clear that in future, supplies (export) would be undertaken, “keeping in view the domestic production and the requirements of the national vaccination programme”.

The RTI reply has mentioned that the vaccines were procured for the export purposes – as Grant, contractual supplies and under the Covax facility – as per the authorization from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

As per the official data, the Centre has given away 107.15 lakh vaccines free as ‘Grant’ to 47 countries, sold 357.92 lakh doses at commercial rates to 26 nations, and under the Covax programme sold 198.63 lakh vaccines to another 47 countries – totalling to a staggering 663.70 lakh doses.

Till May 31 (today), India has vaccinated a total of 21,31,54,129 people under various approved categories, including those who got their second dose.

For the Grant, the government had purchased the vaccines from Pune-based Serum Institute of India Ltd (SII) at Rs 200+GST per dose, and from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd at Rs 295+GST per vaccine, said the RTI reply.

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