Serum Institute yet to receive orders for vaccine supply

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Serum Institute yet to receive orders for vaccine supplyThis is even as the announcements have been made and reported in media that Pune in Maharashtra is to be the central hub (where dry runs were also held) from where the COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be set in motion. (Reuters/File Photo of a research scientist working inside a laboratory of India’s Serum Institute.)News of the vaccine rollout architecture has been articulated by the government but what is holding back the Centre from placing the orders for the vaccine supply still remains unanswered. Financial Express Online learns reliably that Serum Institute of India (SII), which was the first Indian company to get the Emergency Use Authorisation for its Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday, 3 January, has yet to receive any concrete orders from the government on vaccine supply.

SII has already offered the vaccine to the government at Rs 200 per dose and though, it is learnt, this is also not the final price as yet.

Also Read – Covid-19 vaccine: Days after war of words, Serum, Bharat Biotech pledge smooth rollout of Coronavirus vaccine 

This is even as the announcements have been made and reported in media that Pune in Maharashtra is to be the central hub (where dry runs were also held) from where the COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be set in motion. Other than reports that four Government Medical Store Depots have been located in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Karnal in Haryana.

The medical professionals who have enrolled their names for receiving the vaccine are hoping that the rollout would happen as stated by the government. Though government officials have maintained that the rollout will be “10 days from the granting of the emergency use authorisations (EUAs)”, a statement purely to convey state of preparedness, those within the industry based on the fact that EUAs were issued last Sunday, 3 January, calculate that the possible timeframe from when a rollout could be expected is 13 January.

Also Read – Coronavirus vaccine to cost Rs 219-292 to govt; double that rate in private market: Serum

What may come as relief is that once an order is placed, dispatches may not take time, as apparently, it could begin in a matter of a few hours after a challan is prepared to remove the material from the manufacturer’s facility. It is also reliably learnt that if the orders are placed, SII may be in a position to immediately dispatch anywhere between 20 to 25 million doses.

For now, while the day of deliverance is fast approaching, transparency is sadly not keeping pace. Hopefully, it will get sorted in a day or two for much of the vaccine story now hinges upon the elements of trust and hope in flawless delivery.

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