Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 2
Ahead of the Drug Controller General of India’s approval for Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine anytime now, the government kick started dry run across 116 districts in all states to test the readiness of vaccine delivery platforms.
“Dry run for COVID-19 vaccine administration starts in all States/UTs today in 116 districts across 259 sites,” Health Ministry said Saturday morning with Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announcing that he would personally visit some sites in Delhi where the dry run is planned on Saturday.
India is eyeing a quick vaccine rollout once DCGI approves the first jab.
SII has already rescued 100 million Covishield doses with the government yet to sign a supply contract with them.
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SII will only get restricted emergency use approval as of now and not market authorisation which means it would need to sell the vaccines to government for national procurement and not yet in private markets.
SII is likely to give the two dose vaccine to the government for US$ 3.39 per dose, which comes to Rs 500 for two doses.
The company will sell two doses for Rs 1,000 in the private market once it also gets market authorisation from DCGI.
The DCGI expert panel yesterday recommended restricted emergency use authorisation for Covishield to ensure the limited vaccine supply is first used for priority groups through national procurement by Government of India.
Priority groups include one crore health workers, two crore frontline workers and 27 crore people aged 50 and above with comorbidities.
Immediately, SII will be able to provide 10 crore doses of Covishield to cover part of this priority group.
SII said production scale up capacities exist. ndia supplies 60 per cent of world’s vaccines.
National dry run is covering 16 per cent of India’s 734 districts today.