The Centre has placed a new purchase order with the Serum Institute of India (SII) for the supply of 10 crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, each costing Rs 157.50, including GST, according to official sources. The HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, has issued the supply order on behalf of the Union health ministry on March 12 in the name of Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at the Pune-based SII.
The cost of the 10 crore doses would be borne by the health ministry under the budgetary allocation for the purpose. The expenditure for the earlier orders of the vaccines was funded through the PM Cares Fund, the sources said.
India has approved two vaccines against COVID-19 — Covishield, manufactured by the SII, and the indigenously-developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech — for restricted emergency use in the country.