Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 3
Zydus Cadila is learnt to have proposed a price of Rs 1,900 for its three-dose vaccine ZyCov-D that can be given to those above 12 years of age even as the Centre is negotiating with the pharma company to bring down the rate.
A final decision on the price of the indigenously developed and world’s first DNA-based needle-free Covid-19 vaccine was likely to be taken this week, sources said. The government had on Thursday said the vaccine would be introduced in the nationwide anti-Covid vaccination drive shortly.
“The company has proposed a price of Rs 1,900 (inclusive of taxes) for its three-dose jab. Negotiations are on. The company has been asked to reconsider all the aspects regarding the cost of the vaccine. A final decision on the price is likely to be taken this week,” a source said. Another source said the ZyCoV-D had to be differently priced than Covaxin and Covishield as, apart from being a three-dose vaccine, there was a needle-free jet injector used for administering the vaccine that costs Rs 30,000. That jet injector can be used for administering around 20,000 doses. The vaccine is to be given on days zero, 28 and 56.
Sources said around three rounds of meetings had taken place so far between the Centre and the company, the last one on Thursday.
The Health Ministry is also waiting for recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) for introducing ZyCoV-D in the inoculation drive and prioritising beneficiaries focusing on those aged 12-18 years with comorbidities.
The NTAGI will provide the protocol and framework for the introduction of this vaccine, an official source said.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the government was in conversation with the manufacturers. “Since this is a three-dose vaccine and comes with a needleless delivery system, it would have a differential pricing than the existing vaccines being used in the Covid vaccination programme,” he said.
India jab for 12-plus
- Indigenously developed ZyCov-D is world’s first DNA-based needle-free vaccine
- A Rs30,000 jet injector is used to administer the vaccine —first in India for 12-plus
- One injector can administer 20,000 doses, to be given on days zero, 28 and 56
Final price likely this week
The Centre is learnt to be negotiating with Zydus Cadila the price of the vaccine, expected to be finalised this week.
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