NEW DELHI: The vaccines India has approved to launch its Covid vaccine drive are the most cost-effective in the world and are fully safe for use, the government said on Tuesday.
The center has placed supply orders of 110 lakh doses of Oxford University and Astrazeneca developed Covishield vaccine from its Pune based manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) at Rs 200 per dose.
Besides, an additional 55 lakh doses of Covaxin are being procured from Bharat Biotech, which will cost Rs 206 per dose after taking into account a discount offered by Bharat Biotech.
Bharat Biotech is charging Rs 295 per dose for 38.5 lakh doses and providing another 16.5 lakh doses free of cost to the central government. “Hence, the cost of Covaxin is Rs 206 per dose,” health seceratry Rajesh Bhushan said.
Vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech is priced at Rs 1431 per dose, whereas that byModerna is in the range of Rs 2348- Rs2715 per dose. The two Chinese vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech are priced at around Rs 5650 and Rs 1027 per dose, respectively. Even Sputnik V – developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Center and under Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in India by Dr Reddy’s Labs – is currently priced at around Rs 734 per dose, health ministry said.
Around 54,72,000 doses have already been received by states and 100% of total 165 lakh doses will reach all states and UTs by January 14, two days ahead of the rollout.
Giving a comparative analysis of prices of other vaccines available, Bhushan said the vaccines being procured in India are cost-effective. “The discussion along the vaccine options available in the world requires better information and real time information… it is a dynamic scenario it will keep on changing,” Bhushan said.
Once healthcare and frontline workers are inoculated, the drive will be extended to around 27 crore priority population groups such as people above 50 years of age and those younger but with severe co-morbidies that poses risk of lower immunity and higher chances of mortality due to the infection.
Bhushan said the roll-out is sequential depending on the limited availability of the vaccine and coverage can be expanded simultaneously as the supplies improve.
The government is also expecting four more vaccines to seek accelerated regulatory approval for emergency use.
Speaking on the preparedness for the Covid-19 vaccination drive, Bhushan said, “All preparations are on track for Covid-19 vaccine roll out from January 16. A total of 26 virtual meetings / training were held with states / UTs, 2,360 master trainers. , 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators, 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far. ”
The vaccine consignments will first reach four Gross Medical Store Depot (GMSDs) at Karnal in Haryana, Kolkata in West Bengal, Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Mumbai in Maharashtra.
From GMSDs, the stocks will travel to state-level regional temperature-controlled vaccine store. While each state has at least one such temperature controlled vaccine store, some have more than one. For instance, Uttar Pradesh has nine, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have four each, Kerala has three, whereas J&K, Karnataka and Rajasthan have two stores each. “These states will receive the vaccine from manufacturers and the government will be responsible to take it to cold chain,” Bhushan said.