Kerala’s Covid-19 vaccination drive will go ahead “uninterrupted”, tweeted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, adding that the state will purchase 1 crore doses of the two vaccines currently in use in India – Covishield and Covaxin – from the open market.
The announcement assumes significance as a few states have said that the vaccine roll-out for 18-45 years category may be delayed since the manufacturers have made it clear that they will negotiate future orders only after meeting their prior commitment to the central government.
The state will purchase 70 lakh doses of Covishield – developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca and produced at the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin – home grown by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – will make up the rest of the order.
“Kerala will purchase 1 crore doses of #COVID19 vaccines from the open market. 70L doses of Covishield and 30L doses of Covaxin will be procured for next 3 months, May – July, for ₹ 483 crore. Priority for 2nd dose. Our vaccination drive will go ahead, uninterrupted,” tweeted Mr Vijayan.
Calling it a “philanthropic gesture”, Serum Institute’s CEO Adar Poonawalla today slashed the Covishield rates for states – it will now be sold to states at ₹ 300 instead of the earlier ₹ 400. The private hospitals will get the vaccine at ₹ 600 while it will provide the same to the centre at ₹ 150 a shot.
News Source: NDTV