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Covishield Price Slashed To Rs 300 For States; SII CEO Calls It “Humanitarian Gesture”

In a tweet, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla announced “I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs.400 to Rs.300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives.”

A day after the Centre asked Serum Insitute of India, the manufacturer of Covishield, to lower the prices, gearing up for the vaccination drive starting May 1, CEO Adar Poonawalla accepted the suggestion and has cut the price of procurement for states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 as a “humanitarian gesture”

In a tweet, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla announced “I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs.400 to Rs.300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives.”

There has been a lot of criticism for the vaccine manufacturers for the disparity in procurement prices for states, centre and private hospitals. For state governments, Covishield can be procured at Rs 300/dose and Covaxin at Rs 600/dose. As for private hospitals, the former can be purchased at Rs 600/dose and the latter at Rs 1200/dose. Charges for end-consumer will depend on the service that’ll be levied additionally. In the case of state governments, many of them like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, have announced that vaccination will be free.

Also Read: It’s All About The Money: Vaccine Manufacturers SII And Bharat Biotech Release Prices For India

It’s also important to note that vaccinations in Central government hospitals will continue to remain free and the price bracket doesn’t apply to citizens above 45 and health care workers.

Earlier, CEO Adar Poonawalla had said the old price Rs 400/dose will be applicable to both, states and the Centre. The Union Health Ministry in a reply to Congress leader Jairam Ramesh issued a clarification and said that procurement will continue at the pre-agreed price of Rs 150/dose. Several questions were raised as to how could there be different pricing for states and Centre.

Given the shortage of vaccines, it’s unlikely that states will start the 18+ vaccination drive from May 1. Meanwhile, India continued to report high COVID-19 cases and reported 3,60,960 cases and 3293 deaths in 24 hours.

 

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