On Thursday, Bharat Biotech declared it will charge state governments ?400 for a dose of Covaxin, instead of ?600, as earlier stated. The progress comes a day after Pune’s Serum Institute of India brought down the price from ?400 to ?300 for state governments.
Showing deep concerns over the existing pandemic situation of the country, Bharat Biotech said, “We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing which was determined by internally funded product development, several operationally intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities (the first of its kind on our country) and clinical trials.”
“Recognising the enormous challenges to the public health care system, we have made Covaxin available to state governments at a price of ?400 per dose,” the Hyderabad-based company said.
From May 1, the third phase of vaccination against Covid-19 will begin, in which people between the age group of 18 and 44 years will be regarded as eligible to get vaccine doses. As this is a continuation of the ongoing vaccination drive of the country, the Centre has provided state governments and private hospitals to obtain vaccines separately from the producers. Following the Centre’s order on improving the vaccine drive, both Serum Insitute and Bharat Biotech published the market price of their vaccines Covishield and Covaxin, respectively. While one dose of Covishield was initially priced at Rs400 for states and Rs600 for private hospitals, one dose of Covaxin was initially priced at Rs600 for states and Rs1,200 for private hospitals. The Centre, in the meantime, declared that it will continue to obtain both the vaccines at ?150 per dose and will dispatch to states as it has been doing so far.
The difference in the pricing between the Centre and the states became a controversial issue as, like the Centre, several states will administer vaccines for free and thus giving the state exchequers conveying the brunt of the acquisition of the vaccines.
As numerous states raised opposition to the pricing, the Centre asked both Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to lower their prices.
How will the price reduction impact you?
Several states have announced free vaccination for people between the age groups of 18 and 44 years. People belonging to states which have not announced free vaccination will have to pay less for their vaccine doses in case they get vaccinated from state government facilities.