National Affairs

Oxford Vaccine Costs Rs 200 A Dose, Government Places Order

The Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will be priced at Rs 200 a dose after a price agreement was arrived at with the government, sources have said. The first 100 million doses will be priced Rs. 200, say SII sources, and the initial tranche to be supplied is expected to be 11 million doses. With the government placing the order this evening, the drug is expected to roll out of SII’s Pune facilities tonight or tomorrow morning. “The price is fixed in writing,” said sources in the SII adding that exports of the life-saving vaccine are expected after January 16 as well. “A few million doses of Covishield will be supplied every week. 11 million doses may be supplied in the initial lot,” they added. The process of administering the vaccine will start on on January 16, the government said on the weekend. The SII vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca was cleared for emergency use along with Bharat Biotech’s indigenous “Covaxin” earlier this month. Serum chief executive Adar Poonawalla had told NDTV that the vaccine would be priced at about Rs 1,000 rupees per dose when it is eventually available in the private market in India. The government plans to cover 300 million people in the first part of the programme in which health workers, frontline staff such as police and people over the age of 50 and those with co-morbidities will be vaccinated first. That will require 600 million doses and Serum, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, has stockpiled 50 million doses for immediate distribution. The Oxford shot is expected to meet 90% of India’s mass immunisation programme needs.

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