Days before the commencement of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday that 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines have been procured at a cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively.
“As many as 110 lakh (1.1 crore) doses of Covishield vaccine are being procured from the Serum Institute of India at a cost of Rs 200 per dose, excluding taxes. A total of 55 lakh doses of Covaxin vaccine are being procured from Bharat Biotech,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said during a press conference.
The cost of 38.5 lakh doses of Covaxin is Rs 295 per dose, excluding taxes. Bharat Biotech is providing 16.5 lakh doses of Covaxin free of cost to the Central government. Hence, the cost of Covaxin comes to Rs 206 per dose,” he added.
Vaccines have already reached some states. Till 4 p.m., about 54,72,000 doses were received by the states and Union Territories. By January 14, 100 per cent doses will be received.
The much-awaited Covid-19 vaccination drive will kick-off on January 16. The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive. Priority will be given to the healthcare and frontline workers who are estimated to be around three crore, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population with comorbidities numbering around 27 crore.
On January 3, two vaccines — Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India — were approved for ‘restricted emergency use’. Few more vaccines are in the pipeline and are conducting trials.