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Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla Terms Dispatch Of COVID-19 Vaccine ‘Covishield’ As ‘Historic Moment’

The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India will begin from January 16 with 30 crore people in the priority group

Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla Terms Dispatch Of COVID-19 Vaccine 'Covishield' As 'Historic Moment'
Highlights
  • Serum Institute of India is manufacturing COVID vaccine Covishield in India
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield has got emergency use license in India
  • The COVID-19 vaccine will be priced at Rs.1,000 in private markets

Pune: The Serum Institute of India (SII) makes 70 to 80 million doses every month and planning is underway for distribution to India and foreign countries, said Adar Poonawalla, CEO and Owner, SII. “We make 70-80 million doses every month. Planning is underway to see how many will be given to India and foreign countries. Health Ministry has made logistics plans. We also have a partnership with private players for trucks, vans and cold storage.” Mr Poonawalla said many countries have been writing to India and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for vaccines to be supplied from Serum Institute to their countries.

Also Read: Centre To Bear Expenses For First Round Of Vaccination, Jabs For 30 Crore In First Few Months: PM Modi

We are trying to keep everyone happy. We have to take care of our population and nation as well. We are trying to supply the vaccine to Africa, South America. So we are doing a little bit everywhere. So we will try to keep everyone happy, he said. We have given a special price of Rs. 200 for the first 100 million doses only to the Government of India on their request because we want to support the common man, vulnerable, poor and healthcare workers. After that, we will be selling it at Rs. 1,000 in private markets, he said.

The SII CEO informed that the government has not given its nod regarding selling the vaccine in the private market.

In the private market, for those who want to purchase the vaccine, the price would be Rs. 1,000. But we have not received permission for this, he said.

Also Read: Indian Medical Association Endorses Safety, Efficacy Of COVID-19 Vaccines, Requests Its 3.5 Lakh Members To Get Vaccinated

The first consignment containing vials of the Covishield vaccine was dispatched from the Serum Institute of India in the early hours of Tuesday, ahead of the January 16 launch of the nationwide vaccination drive. After the first consignment of “Covishield” was dispatched from the Pune factory, Poonawalla termed it a historic moment.

This is a historic moment that the vaccine is being dispatched from our factory. Our main challenge is to make it available to everyone in the country. It is our challenge for 2021, let us see how it happens, Mr Poonawalla told ANI.

Also Read: Pune Firm Gears Up To Transport COVID-19 Vaccine Vials From Serum Institute Of India

Amid tight security, three trucks carrying the consignment of the vaccine left for Pune airport to be flown to 13 locations across the country today. The locations included Delhi, Karnal, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubhaneshwar, Kolkata and Guwahati. Pune-based logistic firm Kool-ex Cold Chain was tasked with ferrying the vaccine stocks via tech-enabled trucks laced with temperature control feature ranging from -25 degrees to +25 degrees Celsius.

The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country is starting from January 16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said: “We aim to vaccinate 30 crore people in the next few months.” Around 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination, he added. In the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated, he further said.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Race: Where They Stand Currently

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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