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“We can’t vaccinate everybody right now. We can prioritize”: Adar Poonawalla

As Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine receives the policies up from the Indian regulator, the Pune-based firm’s CEO Adar Poonawalla talks with Sohini Das on the road ahead. Poonawalla states he will begin ramping up once he has accuracy on the supply contracts as it is a challenge to stockpile behind a certain volume in the plant.

Poonawalla said, “We can only give to the government of India at the moment.” He said, “We can’t vaccinate everybody right now. We can prioritize.” Poonawalla further said, “So that at least the most vulnerable in the states of our country or in other parts of other countries are taken care of.”

“The purchase will be from the Centre. The central health ministry will tell us how much to send and where. We are waiting for that. We are only going to deal with the government of India on this. For the government, Covishield will have a special price of Rs 200 per dose for the first 100 million doses. After that, we will see what the pricing should be. Of course, in the private market, it would be much higher. The MRP will be Rs 1,000 per dose. We will receive Rs 600-700 at our end; the rest will go to the private distributors,” said Poonawalla.

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