Limited Period Offer:Be a PRO for 1 month @Rs49/-Multiple payment options available. Know More
you are here: HomeNewsTrends

Govt gives ‘advance’ of around Rs 4,500 crore to Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech

“The Finance Ministry today has relaxed the general financial rules and permitted the Ministry of Health to pay, if they so wish, to make advance payment to vaccine suppliers, without a bank guarantee. I believe the Health Ministry is already doing so,” a top official told Moneycontrol

April 20, 2021 / 07:41 AM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

The central government, on April 19, approved an advance of around Rs 3,000 crore to Serum Institute of India, and around Rs 1,500 crore to Bharat Biotech, Moneycontrol has learnt from a top government official.

The amount was an advance for the supply of Covishield and Covaxin by the respective companies over the next 2-3 months, the official confirmed. There were reports earlier that the amounts had been given as a grant.

“The government is not in the practice of giving grants to profit companies. There was a proposal that they should be given an advance payment for vaccines that they will be supplying over the next 2-3 months,” the official said. In doing so, the centre has relaxed its own general financial rules.

Under the General Financial Rules of the central government, specifically rule 172, such huge advances are not given to contractors or for-profit companies without the latter furnishing a bank guarantee or collateral.

“The Finance Ministry today has relaxed the general financial rules and permitted the Ministry of Health to pay, if they so wish, to make advance payment to vaccine suppliers, without the bank guarantee. I believe the Health Ministry is already doing so,” the official said.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

The person added that this was done keeping in mind the need for vaccines from across the country.

This move comes days after the centre announced financial support to three state-owned owned biopharmaceutical institutions to bulk up the production of Covaxin, and that it will provide Rs 65 crore to the only manufacturer of the vaccine currently, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International.

The manufacturer of Covishield, Pune-based Serum Institute, which is the world’s largest vaccine maker, had sought a financial aid of Rs 3,000 crore two weeks ago to ramp up production.
Arup Roychoudhury

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections