New Delhi

A total of 191.99 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines–Covishield and Covaxin–will be supplied to states/UTs free of cost from May 16 to May 31, the Union health ministry said on Friday. The delivery schedule for the allocation will be shared in advance. States/UTs have been requested to direct the officials concerned to ensure rational and judicious utilisation of allocated doses and minimise vaccine wastage, it said.

The 191.99 lakh doses include 162.5 lakh Covishield doses and 29.49 lakh Covaxin doses.

"The basic objective behind informing the states and UTs in advance of the quantum of free vaccine doses to be made available from Government of India for 15 days is to ensure that they prepare effective plans for judicious and optimum utilisation of these free vaccine doses which are meant for the age group of 45 and above, and for healthcare and frontline workers," the ministry said.

In the previous fortnight, that is 1 May-May 15, 2021, a total quantum of more than 1.7 crore vaccine doses has been made available by the Centre to states/UTs, free of charge.

In addition, more than 4.39 crore doses were made available for direct procurement by the states as well as private hospitals in the month of May, the ministry said.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country is nearly 18 crore (17.93 crore as per the 7 am provisional report on Friday).

The Covid-19 vaccination drive has successfully completed 118 days wherein 17.93 crore doses have been administered to identified beneficiaries through collaborative efforts of all states and UTs.

India is the fastest country globally to reach the 17 crore target in 114 days. The US took 115 days and China took 119 days to administer the same amount of doses.

The 'Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy' is being implemented from May 1 2021 wherein 50 percent of the available doses are earmarked for supply to states and UTs, as free of cost supply from Government of India channel, while the remaining 50 percent is available for direct procurement from the vaccine manufacturers by states and UTs and private hospitals.

The allocation of Centre's supplies to states/UTs is decided on the consumption pattern and beneficiary load for second doses during the upcoming fortnight, the ministry stated.