The Centre placed a second purchase order with Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) for the supply of one crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Covishield. The COVID-19 jab costs Rs 210, including GST, to the government.
HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply order on behalf of the Union health ministry in the name of SII's Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs Prakash Kumar Singh.
Total cost of the government orders with SII has risen to Rs 441 crore with the second order and a previous order of 11 crore doses of Covishield worth Rs 231 crore.
These orders are in line with the government's commitment on January 11 to buy 4.5 crore doses from Serum Institute in addition to the first order of 1.1 crore doses.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has claimed that India has become the fastest country in the world to reach the 4 million vaccination mark in 18 days. "As on February, 1, India was among the top five countries in terms of number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to people. India continues to undertake its vaccination drive at a fast pace," the ministry highlighted.
It said that 14 states and Union Territories have not reported any deaths in the last 24 hours including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tripura. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved two coronavirus vaccines -- SII-AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for an emergency use in the country.
With PTI inputs; by Mehak Agarwal