Hyderabad: Believe it or not, students and staff of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) are being asked to shell out Rs 1400 for Covaxin dose and Rs 1000 for Covishield dose.

This is despite the fact that scientists at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have developed a synthetic route for the agonist molecule with indigenous chemicals at an affordable price and with the highest purity for the Covaxin vaccine.

"The vaccination activity will be arranged through IICT Staff Club and interested staff members, students who are willing to avail this facility are requested to give their option by filling in the details to enable IICT Staff Club for making necessary arrangements," said the circular by IICT staff club.

IICT scientists, who developed the agonist molecule and have aided Bharat Biotech to scale up the production of the adjuvant, are now arranging vaccines for staff and family.

When NewsMeter contacted the representative of the IICT staff club, they refused to answer the query about the paid vaccination drive.

Covaxin vaccine is formulated with Algel-IMDG, which contains chemisorbed TLR7/8 agonist onto aluminum hydroxide gel to generate the requisite type of immune responses. Owing to the significant role played by TLR7/8 agonist molecule in the performance of a vaccine IICT was approached by BBIL to develop the synthetic route for the agonist molecule with indigenous chemicals at an affordable price and with the highest purity.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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