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Serum Institute says it is ready to refund Nepal’s payment for Covishield vaccine

KATHMANDU: The Indian Serum Institute has denied supplying one million doses of the Covishield Covid-19 vaccines that Nepal has already paid the price for, and informed that it will return payments made for the same, if Nepal government wants.

In February, Nepal had paid Serum Institute Rs 930 million to purchase two million doses of the Covishield Covid-19 vaccines. The company delivered half of the supplies immediately, but the second half is still awaited.

Talking to Fiscal Nepal, Serum Institute’s local representative in Nepal, Bijaya Dugar, informed that Serum is not in position to supply Covishield vaccines to Nepal, despite advance payment made by Nepal government, considering the rapid spread of Covid-19 in India and massive rise in demand of Covishield Covid-19 vaccines in the country itself.

“Serum has already notified Nepal government that it is not in position to make supply of the vaccines anytime soon or within recent future. Moreover, the institute have said Nepal government that it could take back its payment, if it wants,” informed Dugar.

However, Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) clarified that it will not accept refunding from Serum Institute. “We made payments to purchase vaccines not to take refund. We are doing our best to get supply from Serum via diplomatic means,” said Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson for MoHP.

As the Indian Serum Institute did not send on time one million doses of the Covishield Covid-19 vaccines that Nepal has already paid the price for, the government has been launching efforts to seek alternative suppliers. Diplomatic discussions are on with China, Russia and United States to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

Despite agreements, Indian Serum Institute have halted pre-paid supply of Covishield Covid-19 vaccines to different vendors/countries. Earlier, UK headquartered pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca had sent a legal notice to the manufacturing partner Pune-based Serum Institute of India over delays in the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Umesh Poudel |
Tuesday May 4, 2021, 03:05:55 PM |


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