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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: The government on Monday placed a purchase order for 11 million doses of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine- Covishield, with Serum Institute of India (SII), each costing Rs 210, including the GST. Dispatch of the vaccine is likely to start by late Monday evening, officials informed.

According to the order, each dose of the vaccine has been priced at Rs 200 and with GST of Rs 10 it would cost Rs 210.

The HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply order on behalf of the Union Health Ministry in the name of Prakash Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India (SII).

The Covishield vaccine doses would be initially shipped to 60 consignment points from where those would be distributed further, the sources said.

The health ministry is also likely to soon sign a purchase order for another anti-coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, which has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech. Meetings for this was underway, a source said.

India had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines, Oxford's Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute in India and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both vaccines, according to a statement from the Health Ministry, have established safety and immunogenicity.

The country India launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world's largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

After vaccinating healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore.

Made In India COVID-19 Vaccines Most Cost Effective In The World: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emphasised that India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19, as the country prepares for the Made in India vaccination drive from January 16.

Making the closing remarks at the meeting with the Chief Ministers on Covid vaccine roll-out, the Prime Minister said that the public representatives are not in the priority list and the first round of vaccines will be given to the frontline workers. He also said that the state governments will not have to pay for the first round of Covid vaccines as the Centre will bear the cost.

"We have to continue creating public awarreness, but the maximum awarreness is required after the second and third round when we complete three crore vaccinations," Modisaid.

"Public representatives are not in the priority list. Only the frontline and healthcare workers are on the list. The fight against coronavirus is an example of India's federalism," the Prime MInister said.

"India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19 and we should not let our guard down now. We are going to start the vaccination drive from January 16. It is a matter of pride for us that the two approved vaccines for Covid-19 are both Made in India," Modi said.

The Prime MInister said that both the Indian vaccines are more cost effective than any other vaccine in the world.

"Apart from the two already approved vaccines, four others are in the pipeline. It will help us plan for the future in a better way. Our experts have taken all precautions to provide the countrymen with effective vaccines," Modi said.

The Prime MInister said that these vaccines are made keeping in mind the situation of the country. "In the second phase, people above 50 years of age will be vaccinated," Modi said.

(With Agency Inputs)

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