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Covishield to be sold to state govts at Rs 400 per dose, to private hosptials at Rs 600
New Delhi, April 21, 2021
Pune-based biotechnology major Serum Institute of India (SII) today said the Covishield anti-COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by it would be sold to State governments at Rs 400 per dose and to private hospitals at Rs 600 per dose.
SII, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally, has partnered with Oxford-AstraZeneca for conducting clinical trials and manufacturing Covishield in India.
The announcement by SII was made two days after the Government, on April 19, decided to allow vaccination against COVID-19 for all above the age of 18 from May 1.
As part of the liberalised strategy, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL)-released doses to the Government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to State Governments and in the open market.
Manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for the 50% supply that would be available to State Governments and in open market, before May 1, the Government had said.
Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked for other than Government of India channel. Private vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price. The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, that is, everyone above the age of 18.
In a statement, SII Chief Executive Officer Adar C Poonawalla said the company welcomed the Government's announcement and felt the directives would help to scale up vaccine production and allow state governments, private hospitals, and vaccination centers to procure vaccines directly.
"For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up the vaccine production. Going ahead, 50% of our capacities will be served to the Government of India's vaccination programme, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals," he said.
Announcing the prices of the vaccine at Rs 400 for State Governments and Rs 600 for private hospitals, Poonawalla said that, considering the global vaccine prices, the company was ensuring that its vaccines were affordable in comparison to any other vaccines in the world.
According to him, the price per dose in the private market was Rs 1,500 for American vaccines and Rs 750 for Russian and Chinese vaccines.
"Furthermore, 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. Post 4-5 months, the vaccines will be made available in retail and free trade.
"We at Serum, would like to assure you that we will continue to do our best to help everyone and would request you all to be patient with us," Poonawalla added.