The central government may allow Indian companies, especially larger organizations, to procure COVID-19 vaccines directly from manufacturers for their employees. This is part of the policy in India’s vaccine plan.
This move by the government is to ensure that key economic activities are not ruffled for which the large organizations are asked to arrange for their employees. The proposal is at the discretion of the PMO.
It has been learned that majority of the vaccine expenditure will be borne by the state and will cost around 50,000 crore. However, according to experts and analysts not every Indian will get a dose in 2021.
In the race to materialize the first COVID-19 vaccine, British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford’s candidate is ahead of the others. It has collaborated with Serum Institute of India and is in third phase of trails.
Indian drug maker Zydus Cadila has launched phase 2 trials for Covid vaccines on August 6. Bharat Biotech, another domestic pharma firm has also started its phase 2 trials from September.
This will be a special facility for India Inc. to vaccinate their employees in a situation that is marked by limited supplies and a closely monitored vaccine program in the country. The preferred sections who would be the first to get the first dose of an approved vaccine would be health workers, patients with co-morbidities and the elderly population.
As of now, no companies have been shortlisted that can directly purchase vaccine from the makers. But, it could be certain sectors like — petroleum, steel, pharma, cement and coal, which may get the first preference. Since, these sectors are prosperous and flush with money, this move will ease the burden on the central exchequer. “Their usage of vaccines will be under the overall, centralized monitoring of the Union government and data on the vaccinations will be collected and stored by the Centre too,” said an official privy to the matter.