In a much-awaited move, the Serum Institute of India closes in on signing a supply contract for a covid-19 vaccine with the country’s central government. As per reports by the Business Standard, on the 8th of December, the institute, the world’s largest vaccine producer by volume, is likely to fix the vaccine’s price at 250 rupees (per dose).
On the 7th of December, the institute lodged the first formal application for emergency-use approval of AstraZeneca’s shot. With this, the government sees a mass supply by the institute. The vaccine was earlier quoted to be priced at 1,000 rupees per dose in India in the private markets. However, the deals signed with larger supplies by the government make the vaccine available at a lower cost. This development comes as India is accelerating its review of vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca to authorize for emergency use, as quoted by a senior official.
The Chief Executive Officer, Adar Poonawalla, said the institute’s priority would be to supply the vaccine to Indians, then distribute it to other countries. This step is much needed as India is the second most affected country in the world by Covid-19, after the United States, and currently records more than 9.7 million cases.