As Serum Institute of India ships out its coronavirus vaccine candidate to multiple cities in the country, CEO Adar Poonawalla has said that it is a big relief for the company. He also said that multiple countries are seeking COVID-19 vaccines from India and that the company is trying to supply COVID-19 vaccines in Africa. He also said that the vaccine will be sold at Rs 1,000 per dose to private players, as against Rs 200 for the government.
Poonawalla also said that after the first 100 million doses will be offered at Rs 200 per dose to the government, Serum Institute will sell the coronavirus vaccine at Rs 1,000 per dose to private players. "We have given a special price of Rs 200 for the first 100 million doses only to the Government of India on their request that we want to support the common man, vulnerable, poor and healthcare workers. After that, we'll be selling it at Rs 1,000 in private markets," Adar Poonawalla said.
"It is a relief day for all of us as the entire team has been working tirelessly for the last few months. We offered a price of Rs 200 for the first 100 million doses only in India to make the vaccine available for aam aadmi," said Poonawalla. He added that multiple countries have approached India for the vaccines and that Serum Institute is trying to supply the vaccine in Africa as well as other countries. "All these things are being worked out and the government is also working on it," he said.
The company shipped the first consignment of Covishield, the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca to 13 locations from its Pune facility. Three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of SII's gates before 5 am to Pune airport, from where the vaccines were transported across the country on special cargo planes.
The first flight ferrying the COVID-19 vaccine from Pune's Serum Institute of India reached Delhi at 10 am on Tuesday. Spicejet flight SG8937 with the consignment departed from Pune at 8 am. SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh said, "Proud to say that SpiceJet carried India's first consignment of COVID vaccines from Pune to Delhi this morning."