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New Delhi: The central government on Friday said that it has provided more than 1 billion covid vaccine doses to states and Union territories (UTs) so far through the government’s free-of-cost channel and through the direct state procurement category.

The statement comes against the backdrop of India being all set to breach the 1 billion cumulative mark in the administration of covid vaccines in a few days.

More than 105 million unutilized vaccine doses are available with the states and UTs, the health ministry said.

“We are scaling up the production of covid vaccines. We are flexible about the use of vaccines approved in other countries. We have approved Pfizer and Moderna and are ready to immunize our population. We will also be exporting vaccines soon," Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday.

“There are several countries that have shown interest in India-made vaccines such as Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus’s newly approved vaccine," Mandaviya said.

At least 16,862 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. The active caseload is 203,678, which is the lowest in 216 days and constitute 0.60% of the country’s total positive cases, the government said.

The recovery of 19,391 patients in the past 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to close to 33.4 million, health ministry data showed. The recovery rate thus is 98.07%, the highest since March 2020.

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