Ahead of the new Covid 19 vaccination drive from May 18 years of age, the Serum Institute of India on Wednesday, April 21, announced that Covishield will be sold at Rs 400 a shot to state governments and at Rs 600 to private hospitals.
The Centre will get the Covishield doses at Rs 150 each.
In a statement, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar C Poonawalla said that the vaccines are affordable in comparison to any other vaccines in the world. The foreign vaccine cost between Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 a shot, he said.
“For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up the 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,” the CEO stated.
He also asked the corporate and private individuals to access the vaccines through the state facilitated machinery and private health systems. “Post 4-5 months, the vaccine will be made available in retail and free trade,” the statement said,
As part of the government’s new policy, 50 per cent of vaccine doses will be reserved for the Centre and the rest will be divided between states and private hospitals. The Centre announced Rs 4,500 crore aid to vaccine makers Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to speed up the process of vaccine production. With Covid 19 cases surging ahead across the country, several states have demanded more supply of the vaccine from the centre.
Meanwhile, the announcement of the price raised serious reservations against the double stand of the institute. Congress leader and economist Jairam Ramesh took to the tweeter, saying, “Central Government will continue to pay Rs 150 per dose for Covishield. State Govts will now be charged with Rs 400 a dose. This is not cooperative federalism. This will bleed dry the already reeling states finances. Atrocious! We demand One Nation, One Price for Centre and State Governments.”
The Centre had allowed the Covid Vaccine producing companies to fix raise at liberalised rates while opening the doors of the new Covid 19 vaccination from May 1, which will include all above 18 years of age. The only rider is that the companies should earmark 50 per cent of the doses for the Centre