With preparations in full swing for the nation-wide Coronavirus vaccination drive scheduled on January 16, the Centre on Monday placed an order for 11 million Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by Serum Institute of India, reports stated.

Serum Institute Of India (SII) is selling its Covishield vaccine at Rs 210 per vial to the Centre, sources said. According to reports, the company will sell the vaccine at a higher price to private entities.  

SII is likely to start dispatching the vaccines later today. According to the order, each dose of the vaccine has been priced at Rs 200 and a GST of Rs 10 has been applied per vial.

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, 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.

During the first phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive, about three crore healthcare and frontline workers will be vaccinated, the central government had announced earlier.

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