India's vaccination programme is set to begin from January 16 (Representative Image)
The Centre has approved the purchase of 7 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines - 6 crore from the Serum Institute of India (SII) and 1 crore from Bharat Biotech, for the first phase of India's vaccination programme.
“The approval has been given and orders are likely to be placed in batches to be decided by the ministry of health and family welfare,” an official told The Economic Times.
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Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
While the initial phase of the programme intends to innoculate 3 crore healthcare and essential workers who will require 6 crore does (vaccination is of two doses per individual), the source added that the government will keep the additional 1 crore doses "as a backup."
The Centre has already placed orders for 1.1 crore doses of Covishied from SII and 5.50 lakh doses of COVAXIN from Bharat Biotech, it added. Prices of the vaccines have been set at Rs 200 per injection for Covishied and Rs 309 (with tax) for COVAXIN.
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Further, there are plans to approve at least four more vaccines, especially for the second phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed state chief minister during a meeting on January 11.
India's coronavirus vaccination drive is set to begin from January 16. It will be for healthcare workers, sanitation workers, policemen, armed forces, and various public officials.
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Another government source told the paper they do not anticipate vaccine shortage, and will in fact see production ramp-up over the next three months with the introduction of more private players.
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