New Delhi (NVI): A day after the Serum Institute of Institute (SII) slashed the rate of its Covishield vaccine for states, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech today announced that its Covid-19 vaccine — Covaxin — will be made available to state governments at a reduced price of Rs 400 per dose.
Expressing “deep concern” over the critical pandemic situation in the country, the vaccine maker said it recognises the enormous challenges to the public health care system.
Earlier, Bharat Biotech had decided to charge state governments Rs 600 for a dose of its Covaxin vaccine and Rs 1200 per dose for private hospitals.
As per this rate, the states would have had to pay four times what the Centre will be paying to procure its shots.
The decision to slash rates came days after the Central government asked the SII and Bharat Biotech to lower the price of their Covid-19 vaccines amid criticism from several states who have accused the companies of profiteering from the crisis.
The issue of vaccine pricing was discussed at a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Monday.
Under the government’s new vaccine policy applicable from May 1, 50 per cent of doses will be available in the open market, from where both state governments and private vaccination centres would have to procure to vaccinate the 18-44 age group.
Private vaccination centres will have to dip into the same basket for doses for the priority group of 45+ as well.