Serum Institute of India (SII) is in talks with the central government for a supply agreement of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covishield, and might price the jab at Rs 250 per dose. Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said on December 7 that the company had applied to the DCGI for emergency use the authorisation of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covishield.
Poonawalla, whose company has an agreement with the government to mass-manufacture the Covid vaccine, said around 40 million doses had already been produced and that the Centre would buy 90 per cent of these doses for Rs 250 or less. He added that the rest will be sold for between Rs 500 and Rs 600 per dose for the private market. He also said that the 10 per cent that is expected to be released to the private market was unlikely to be available before March, making vaccine distribution the preserve of the government till then.
A government official said negotiations with SII were in the final stages. “Talks for signing a supply contract are now in the final stages of discussion and could be done soon,” another source told the media. Covishield, a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, is being developed by British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Pune-based SII has said it has already manufactured 40 million doses of the vaccine, and is planning to manufacture 100 million doses a month.