Main challenge is to bring COVID vaccine to everyone in India: Poonawalla
New Delhi, Jan 12: As the country is on the verge to witness the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Adar Poonawalla, CEO and owner of the Serum Institute of India, has compared this as a historical moment as the vaccine is being dispatched on Tuesday to several states.
Poonawalla described it as challenge saying, "Our main challenge is to bring it to everyone in the country. It is our challenge for 2021, let's see how it happens."
While speaking about vaccine price, he said, "We have given a special price of Rs 200 for the first 100 mn doses only to GoI on their request, that we want to support common man, vulnerable, poor, healthcare workers. After that we will be selling it at Rs 1000 in pvt markets."
"To Govt of India, we will still maintain a very reasonable price but it will be a little bit more than Rs 200 which is our cost price. So we decided not to make any profit, we wanted to support the nation and Govt of India for the first 100 million doses."
Notably, Centre announced the it will bear the expenses of vaccine which will be given to healthcare and frontline workers.
The CEO of SII also said, "A lot of countries have been writing to India and PMO for vaccines to be supplied from Serum Institute to their countries. We are trying to keep everyone happy. We have to take care of our population and nation as well."
"We are trying to supply vaccine to Africa, South America. So we are doing a little bit everywhere. So we will try to keep everyone happy."
Pune-based vaccine major SII on Monday said it has received an order from the government for as many as 11 million vaccine doses of Covishield, ahead of the January 16 mega vaccination drive.
SII had entered into a collaboration with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to manufacture the Covishield vaccine.
The institute has already manufactured close to 50 million dose, according to the report.
The vaccination drive against coronavirus in India will kick off on January 16, 2021. The priority will be given to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers, estimated to be around 3 crores, followed by those above 50 years and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crores.