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Chidambaram calls for CAG audit of domestic vaccine firms

Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of Covaxin, had said Friday that said its vaccine has a lag time of four months and that production and supply is a time-consuming process as various procedures and approvals need to be in place.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
May 30, 2021 2:21:35 am
Former Union minister P Chidambaram

Arguing that the mystery of “missing vaccines” is deepening each day, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday demanded a CAG audit of the capacity, production, dispatch, supply and customers’ lists of domestic vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech.

Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of Covaxin, had said Friday that said its vaccine has a lag time of four months and that production and supply is a time-consuming process as various procedures and approvals need to be in place.

Chidambaram said Bharat Biotech’s statement has added to the confusion. “We understand that ‘capacity’ is one thing and ‘production’ is a different thing. What we would like to know is the actual quantity produced so far by the two domestic manufacturers. Once we know the actual production so far, we should be told what has been supplied date-wise and to whom,” he said.

Referring to announcements by various corporate groups that they would vaccinate their employees and their families, business partners, he said while it was a welcome move “the corporates should also tell us from where they will get the supplies of vaccines.”

He also pointed out that state governments are not able to get supplies from any domestic or foreign manufacturer. “So, from where do the corporates expect to get their supplies? The proper thing to do is direct a CAG driven full-scope audit of capacity, production, dispatch, supply and customers’ lists of the two domestic manufacturers.”

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