COVID-19 | Centre orders 11 mn doses of Covishield

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

January 11, 2021 06:04 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 05:42 am IST - New Delhi

Vials of Covishield at the Serum Institute of India, Pune.

Vials of Covishield at the Serum Institute of India, Pune.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the State governments would not have to pay for vaccinating the priority group of three crore healthcare and frontline workers, stating that the Centre would bear the cost.

The announcement came as the Central government placed a purchase order with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) for 11 million doses of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, at a cost of ₹210 per dose (including GST).

Official sources said that the dispatch of vaccines is likely to start late on Monday.

HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply order on behalf of the Health Ministry. The Health Ministry is also slated to sign a purchase order with Bharat Boitech for its vaccine, Covaxin. “Meetings for this are under way,” a source said.

No out-of-turn jabs

Addressing Chief Ministers via videoconference ahead of the vaccination roll-out scheduled for January 16, Mr. Modi also “stressed on ensuring that politicians don’t jump the queue, and take the vaccine when their turn comes”. The direction comes amid requests by some States to include MPs, MLAs and panchayat heads in the priority groups.

‘Matter of pride’

Lauding the constant coordination and communication between the Centre and the States, Mr. Modi said, “It’s a matter of pride that both the COVID-19 vaccines for which Emergency Use Authorisation has been given are made in India.”

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

The Prime Minister noted that India’s vast experience with vaccination would prove handy.

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