Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 21
The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday announced its pricing policy ahead of the expansion of Covid vaccinations for all adults from May 1 saying the jab would cost Rs 400 a dose for the Centre and state governments and Rs 600 a dose to private hospitals.
The SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker, said, “For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up vaccine production. Going ahead, 50 per cent of our capacities will be served to the Government of India vaccination programme and the remaining 50 per cent to state governments and private hospitals."
It said globally, other vaccines were much costlier--the US variants cost Rs 1,500 a dose and the Russian and Chinese Rs 750 per shot.
Of the 1,27,605,870 doses administered till Wednesday morning, 11,60,65,107 (90 per cent) were Covishield and 1,15,40,763 Covaxin, the Health Ministry said. Fifteen states have administered only Covishield.
The SII said even the Centre would need to procure the vaccine at Rs 400 a dose (as against Rs 150 earlier) as the price mechanism would change from May 1.
The company’s declaration is in line with the new liberalised vaccine policy of the Centre, which mandates Indian vaccine makers to declare prices for states and private hospitals in advance of May 1. From May 1, private hospitals will have to procure vaccine stocks directly from manufacturers and the Centre will discontinue providing stocks.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged the Centre’s vaccine strategy was no less than demonetisation. “The common people will stand in queues, suffer loss of wealth, health and life and in the end only a few big industrialists will benefit. Disaster of the country is an opportunity for Modi’s friends,” he said.
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