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Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.

Haven't received govt's nod on selling Covid vaccine in pvt market: Serum CEO

  • 'In the private market, for those who want to purchase the vaccine, the price would be 1,000. But we have not received permission for this...,' Adar Poonawalla informed
  • Poonwalla termed the vaccine dispatch a historic moment and said the main challenge is to make the vaccine available to everyone in the country

Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday said that the Indian government has not given permission to the vaccine manufacturing company to sell its Covid-19 vaccine in the private market.

"In the private market, for those who want to purchase the vaccine, the price would be 1,000. But we have not received permission for this...," Poonawalla said, according to an ANI interview.

Poonawalla's comments came after the world's largest vaccine manufacturing company began to dispatch its locally produced Oxford Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield' across the country in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Poonwalla termed it a historic moment and said the main challenge is to make the vaccine available to everyone in the country.

"We have given a special price of 200 for the first 100 million doses only to the Government of India on their request because we want to support common man, vulnerable, poor and healthcare workers. After that, we will be selling it at 1,000 in private markets," he said to ANI.

"We make 70-80 million doses every month. Planning is underway to see how many will be given to India and foreign countries. Health Ministry has made logistics plans. We also have a partnership with private players for trucks, vans and cold storage," he informed.

However, for the price of the vaccine in India, Poonwalla added, "To Indian government, we'll still maintain a very reasonable price but it will be a little bit more than 200 which is our cost price. So we decided not to make any profit, we wanted to support the nation and the government for the first 100 million doses."

He also added that a lot of countries have been writing to India and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for vaccines to be supplied from Serum Institute to their countries.

"We are trying to keep everyone happy. We have to take care of our population and nation as well. We are trying to supply vaccine to Africa, South America. So we are doing a little bit everywhere. So we will try to keep everyone happy," he said.

The first consignment containing vials of the Covishield vaccine was dispatched from the Serum Institute of India here in the early hours of Tuesday, four days ahead of the launch of the nationwide vaccination drive.

A SpiceJet aircraft carrying the vaccines landed at the Delhi airport around 10 am.

Amid tight security, three trucks carrying the very first consignment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine left for Pune airport to be flown to 13 locations across the country today.

India has recently approved two COVID-19 vaccines -- Oxford's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in the country, and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- for restricted emergency use.

According to the COVID-19 Vaccine Operational Guidelines, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers and around two crore frontline workers, and then to people above 50 years of age, followed by those below 50 years of age with associated comorbidities, based on the evolving pandemic situation.

With inputs from ANI



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