New Delhi: The government Monday placed a purchase order with Serum Institute of India (SII) for 11 million doses of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield. Each of the COVID-19 vaccines will cost Rs 210, including the GST, official sources said. Dispatch of the vaccine is likely to start by late Monday evening, they said. According to the order, each dose of the vaccine has been priced at Rs 200 and with GST of Rs 10 it would cost Rs 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).
The Covishield vaccine doses would be initially shipped to 60 consignment points from where those would be distributed further, the sources said. The Health Ministry is also likely to soon sign a purchase order for another anti-coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, which has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech. Meetings for placing the order was underway, a source said.
India had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines. They are Oxford’s Covishield being manufactured by SII and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Both vaccines, according to a statement from the Health Ministry, have established safety and immunogenicity.
India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called it the world’s largest inoculation programme. Priority will be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.
After vaccinating healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore.