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Home / News / India /  Covid-19 vaccination: India signs purchase order with Serum; 'Covishield' vaccine to cost 200 per dose

Ahead of India's mega Covid-19 vaccination drive, the Indian government on Monday signed a purchase order of 11 million doses with Serum Institute of India for its locally made Oxford Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield', news agency PTI reported citing sources.

Dispatch of the vaccine is likely to start by late Monday evening, they said.

"Serum Institute of India (SII) has received a purchase order from Government of India," said SII officials.

The vaccine would be available at the price of 200 per dose, said officials according to news agency ANI.

According to the order, each dose of the vaccine has been priced at 200 and with GST of 10 it would cost 210.

The HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply order on behalf of the Union Health Ministry in the name of Prakash Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India (SII).

Covishield is co-developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca in collaboration with the SII.

On 3 January, India's drug regulator has approved emergency use authorization of the vaccine developed by Oxford University as well as another developed by Indian firm Bharat Biotech, but the government has not placed firm orders with either of the firm.

Senior officials have been discussing the terms of the deal with the Serum Institute for weeks, hoping to bring down prices below $3 per shot, one of the sources with direct knowledge told Reuters earlier today.

Serum chief executive Adar Poonawalla had told the CNBC-TV18 channel in November the vaccine would be priced at about 1,000 rupees ($13.55) per dose for the private market in India and would cost the government about 250 Indian rupees ($3.40) per dose.

Moreover, the transportation of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India's facility in Pune in Maharashtra is likely to start from the evening of January 11 or on January 12, reported PIT citing sources involved in planning the logistics.

The government aims to secure 600 million doses for the country's vaccination drive aimed at inoculating 300 million citizens over the next six to eight months. Serum, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines has stockpiled 50 million doses for immediate distribution

On Saturday, the government announced the immunisation programme will begin on Jan. 16. The plan is to cover 300 million people in the first part of the programme, kicking off with health workers, frontline staff such as police and then people over the age of 50 and those with co-morbidities.

Meanwhile, three phases of dry runs have been conducted across the country, with the third dry run conducted on Friday across 615 districts covering 4895 session sites in 33 states and UTs.

The Health Ministry said the entire vaccination exercise is underpinned by the principles of people's participation (Jan Bhagidari); utilising the experience of elections (booth strategy) and universal immunization programme (UIP).

No compromise on existing healthcare services, especially national programmes and primary health care, and of scientific and regulatory norms besides other SOPs will be made, and the vaccination programme will be marked by an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology.

With agency inputs

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