Government planning to procure Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (COVID) on half the price from MRP

India is planning to get hands on the first lot of anti-Covid shots in late January-early February which will be distributed among frontline workers like doctors, nurses and municipal staff.

India is planning to give Serum Institute of India (SII) emergency use approval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate soon after it gets similar approval in the UK. SII is expected to apply for emergency use in December. The government will be making bulk purchases, has also negotiated a better price almost half that of the expected MRP Rs 500-600 for the two-shot vaccine.

According to an official ” if everything goes as per plan and the company (SII) manages to secure emergency authorization in December, we are expecting the first lot of vaccines by January-February and the first set of beneficiaries has been identified.”

The priority population of 25-30 crores is categorised into four different groups which will require around 50-60 crore doses according to the estimate. The limited stocks are expected to arrive by January-end which will be provided to 70 lakh healthcare professionals and over 2 crore frontline workers including police, municipal workers and armed forces.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin can be considered for emergency approval after the results of phase I and phase II trials.

“If Serum Institute submits its efficacy data from UK and applies for emergency authorization here, it can easily be granted But even in case of Bharat Biotech, if the company applies for emergency use approval after its data from phase I and phase II are published, the regulator can consider the same,” remarked by the officials .

The SII has almost completed its phase 3 trials in India and the follow up is expected to start soon.

National Technical Advisory Group initiating Immunisation and The Central Drug Standards and Control Organistaion to focus on grant of emergency authoristaion will be the two major bodies dealing with vaccine introduction.

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