New Delhi, April 21
Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine maker, on Wednesday announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.
The company also said for the next two months, it will address the issue of limited capacity by scaling up vaccine production.
"Going ahead, 50 per cent of our capacities will be served to the Government of India's vaccination program, and the remaining 50 per cent of the capacity will be for the state governments and private hospitals," Serum Institute of India said in a statement.
Following the government directives, the price of the Covishield vaccine is Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for the private hospitals, it added.
Considering the global vaccine prices, "we are ensuring that our vaccines are affordable in comparison to any other vaccines in the world", Serum Institute said.
The American vaccines in the private market cost more than Rs 1,500 per dose, while Russian and Chinese vaccines cost greater than Rs 750 per dose, it added.
"... owing to the complexity, and urgency of the situation it is challenging to supply it independently to each corporate entity. We would urge all corporate and private individuals to access the vaccines through the state facilitated machinery and private health systems", Serum Institute said.
After 4-5 months, the vaccines will be made available in retail and free trade, it added.
The vaccine major said it welcomes the recent announcement made by the Ministry of Health and Finance Ministry to accelerate India's vaccination drive.
"The promising directives will help to scale up vaccine production, and allow state governments, private hospitals, and vaccination centres to procure vaccines directly," it added.
On Tuesday, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had also said in a tweet, "On behalf of the vaccine industry in India, I would like to thank and applaud Shri @narendramodi Ji, @nsitharaman Ji, for your decisive policy changes and swift financial aid which will help vaccine production and distribution in India".
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT pic.twitter.com/bTsMs8AKth— SerumInstituteIndia (@SerumInstIndia) April 21, 2021
Covishield comprises over 90 per cent of the 12.76 crore COVID-19 vaccines administered across the country so far, according to government data on Wednesday.
Of the 127,605,870 COVID-19 vaccination jabs administered till now, 11,60,65,107 are of Covishield, while 1,15,40,763 are Covaxin, according to the government's CO-WIN portal.
Central Govt will continue to pay Rs 150 per dose for Covishield. State govts will now be charged Rs 400 a dose. This is not cooperative federalism. This will bleed dry the already reeling state finances. Atrocious!— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) April 21, 2021
We demand One Nation, One Price for Centre & State governments. pic.twitter.com/YiOIWosNee
According to the sources, the government is likely to waive 10 per cent customs duty levied on imported vaccines in a bid to keep the cost of overseas vaccines low, which are being eyed to supplement domestically made shots ahead of the opening of COVID-19 vaccination to all citizens over 18 years of age. PTI PTI
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