The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr. VG Somani has approved the ‘Covishield’ by Serum Institute of India and ‘Covaxin’ by Bharat Biotech for emergency use of India on January 3, 2021. The vaccines will roll out in the coming weeks in India.
The ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’ were approved for emergency use after the meeting of a Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) held on January 1, 2021. ‘Covishield’ was approved for emergency use on January 1, while the ‘Covaxin’ was approved for restricted use on January 2, 2021.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, has disclosed the prices of ‘Covishield’. There are two different prices that have been fixed for the ‘Covishield’ vaccine.‘Covishield’ will be sold to the government at INR 250 and to the private markets at INR 1000. The company which is based in Pune is producing 50 to 60 million doses of the ‘Covishield’ each month said Poonawalla. He also stated that by mid-2021, the government aims to vaccinate more than 130 crore people.
In an interview with Zee News, Poonawalla said: “We are ready to provide the vaccine for the government. We have sent our proposal and are waiting for the contract to be signed with the government. The vaccine will be made available to the government within 10 days of the contract.”
However, the Serum Institute of India is yet to receive permission from the government to export ‘Covishield’ and aims to export the vaccine in more than 50 countries of the world. Poonawalla further said, “We have bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia and some other countries. We have sought permission from the government in this regard. After getting this approval, we will be able to deliver our medicine to more than 50 countries of the world”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated all the hardworking scientists and innovators upon the approval of the ‘Covishield’ and the ‘Covaxin’ by the DCGI stating that the country is moving towards a healthier and a “COVID-free” nation.