The government has placed an order for Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine against COVID-19 manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) as the nationwide immunisation drive is set to rollout from January 16. The vaccine will cost Rs 200 a vial in the country.
Earlier reports had claimed that the Centre was negotiating a lower price for the Covishield vaccine. But SII sources have clarified that prices were always fixed.
"The price was always fixed. No issues of agreement. The price of the doses is fixed at Rs 200 per dose," said SII's sources.
Sources confirmed that the shipment will leave from the Serum Institute of India facility in Pune this evening."Final paperwork took sometime from the government side, which has now concluded," the souces further added.
According to SII's officials, a few million doses of Covishield will be supplied every week with 11 million doses being supplied in the initial lot.
The first 100 million doses are likely to cost Rs 200 a piece. SII's chief executive Adar Poonawalla had said in December last year that the Covishield vaccine would be priced around Rs 438-585 ($6-8) per dose for the private market in India.
India has allowed emergency use of the vaccine developed by Oxford University, along with Covaxin, which has been developed by Bharat Biotech.
The government announced that the nationwide immunisation programme will begin on January 16.
The plan is to cover 300 million people in the first part of the programme, kicking off with health workers, frontline staff such as police officials and sanitation works, and then people over the age of 50 and those with comorbidities.