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The Central Government has asked Bharat Biotech to supply around 5.5 million doses at 12 centres before 14 Jan. (Bloomberg)
The Central Government has asked Bharat Biotech to supply around 5.5 million doses at 12 centres before 14 Jan. (Bloomberg)

Covid vaccine: Govt orders 55 lakh Covaxin doses, to cost 295 per dose, says report

  • Dispatch of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is likely to start tomorrow morning from Hyderabad
  • The Central Government has asked Bharat Biotech to supply around 5.5 million doses at 12 centres before 14 Jan, the report said

Covaxin, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, will be sold at 295 per dose after a price agreement was arrived at with the government, news agency PTI reported.

The Central Government has asked Bharat Biotech to supply around 55 lakh doses at 12 centres before 14 January, the report said, adding at least 38.5 lakh to be provided in the first stage and 16.5 lakh in the second stage.

Dispatch of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin from Hyderabad is likely to start by early morning tomorrow.

The HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply order on behalf of the Union Health Ministry.

The first order of 1.1 crore doses will be worth 231 crore, while the total amount, including the commitment for 4.5 crore doses, with the total estimated to reach 1,176 crore at current rates, the report said.

"It is further informed that there is a commitment to purchase further 450 lakh doses from Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited, a manufacturer (through subsidiary Serum Institute of Life Sciences Pvt Limited) at 200 per dose plus GST if applicable by April 2021," the letter of comfort signed by Prakash Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India (SII) and R S Manku, Vice President (Govt Business) stated.

"This is in continuation to the supply order dated January 11 for supply of 1.1 crore doses of Covishield vaccine as approved by DCGI vide permission dated January 3 for restricted use in emergency situation," it stated.

Meanwhile, the government earlier today placed a purchase order with Serum Institute of India (SII) for 11 million doses of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, each costing 210 including GST.

Each dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been priced at 200 and with GST of 10 it would cost 210.

Dispatch of the Covid-19 vaccine is likely to start by late Monday evening.

With the Centre placing the order today, Serum's vaccine is expected to roll out of Pune facilities at 4.30 am on Tuesday.

The process of administering the coronavirus vaccine will start on 16 January, the government has said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting to review vaccine preparation.

"After a detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, the Covid-19 vaccination will start from January 16," a statement read.

Serum's vaccine, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, was cleared by India's drug regulator for emergency use along with Bharat Biotech's indigenous "Covaxin" earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting today with the chief ministers of all states to review the Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan set to begin this week.

PM Modi also said that both the vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- are "more cost-effective", adding that dependency on foreign vaccines could have been costly for us.

"Both the approved vaccines are highly cost-effective in comparison to other vaccines from across the world, adding that India would have faced great difficulty if it would have had to depend on foreign vaccines," PM Modi said.

India has authorised two Covid-19 vaccines - indigenous Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin or even the Oxford-Astra Zeneca and Serum Institute of India vaccine Covishield for emergency use. The first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive is expected to start by Saturday with health care workers, frontline workers and the elderly.

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