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NDTV 'Fact-check' busts Centre's claims over vaccine procurement

NDTV Fact-check busts Centres claims over vaccine procurement

New Delhi: The NDTVs fact-check attempt into the Central government's claim of doing its best for the procurement and distribution of vaccine is reported to have found glitches in the government claims.

In a statement, the Central government tried to counter the reports against the vaccines procurement and its distributions, explaining the various processes it had taken to that extent.

The statement further claimed that the government had busted certain 'myths' surround the procurement and distribution of vaccines in India.

The news bureau of NDTV has now debunked these claims, stating that there were multiple failures in the government's handling of the vaccination drive.

The NDTV fact check revealed that the government's claims of 'limited supply of global vaccines and 'engagement' with global vaccine makers since May 2020 were inaccurate as India was one of the last countries to start mass procurement of vaccines.

"US, UK, EU, Japan placed orders for millions of doses from May 2020 onwards," the report said. Quoting the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, the report said that India had only procured 16.5 million doses of Covisheld and Covaxin while the US had purchased 300 million and Brazil 90 million doses.

In addition to this, the government claims of easing entry for foreign vaccines were baseless as approval for foreign vaccines only came in April this year said NDTV, quoting Health Minister Harsh Vardhan who said that Pfizer vaccines would not be needed in November last year.

Vaccine production was also behind schedule and unrealistic as per the government's release as even Bharat Biotech said that it could only meet 44% of the target for March-April needs the report said. This had also led to vaccine 'rationing' for states as the Center had the bulk of vaccines NDTV said. Private hospitals in states were facing up to a 60% shortage of vaccines as only 7 lakh doses were available for states out of 21 lakh ordered by the government.

In a letter to the Delhi government, the Center had also stated that only 3 lakh Covishield and 92,000 doses of Covaxin were available for June.

"India is the only country where states are procuring vaccines directly," the report stated.

Furthermore, the Center had responded to criticisms of not vaccinating children by saying that no country had begun the process yet, but according to Reuters the US had vaccinated 6 lakh children between the ages of 12-15, NDTV claimed.

NDTV also criticised government opposition to compulsory licensing by pointing out that it was one of the first to move to ban patents on COVID vaccines.

"If India wants a ban on patents, then why is it reluctant to order compulsory licensing?" The report questioned.

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