The State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) has begun discussions with Britain to purchase the AstraZeneca doses from the UK, especially since authorities are doubtful if the Serum Institute in India can now supply the remaining 8.5 million vaccinations which had initially been requested, the Daily Mirror learns.
The SPC had initially requested Serum Institute in India for 10 million vaccination doses however the Institute had agreed to supply 1.5 million doses. While these doses will come in as scheduled, the SPC is doubtful if Serum Institute can supply the remaining 8.5 million doses with its new export restrictions on the dosages.
An official from the SPC said it had begun discussions to procure the remaining 8.5 million doses from AstraZeneca in the UK and had requested them to send the necessary documents for the approval of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA).
“Although it is the same company, it is manufactured from different companies in separate countries. Therefore, we need the approval of the NMRA to use it under emergency use in the country which is why we have requested for the necessary documents which will be sent to us,” the official said.
If emergency use approval is granted by the NMRA, the SPC will move fast to place an order as millions of citizens in the country are yet to be vaccinated.
The AstraZeneca doses would be purchased at $5.25 per dose from the UK, the same as India as the price for this vaccination is the same maintained globally.
The Daily Mirror learns that discussions are also ongoing with Johnson and Johnson to see the possibility of purchasing this vaccine if NMRA approval is granted.
The SPC has already requested the necessary documents from Johnson and Johnson which once received will be forwarded to the NMRA.
Meanwhile, the official said in the immediate future, they also expect Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to arrive in the country as cabinet approval had been granted to purchase 7 million doses. The Sputnik V will be purchased at $9.95 per dose. (JAMILA HUSAIN)