COVID-19 vaccine: Covishield now at Rs 400 a dose for states, Rs 600 for private hospitals
Covishield is currently used in the vaccination drive of India against the novel coronavirusImage source: AFP

COVID-19 vaccine: Covishield now at Rs 400 a dose for states, Rs 600 for private hospitals

Serum Institute said the vaccines were still more affordable than foreign vaccines, which cost from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 a jab

Pune: Serum Institute of India on Monday said that it will price its COVID-19 vaccine Covishield at Rs 600 per dose for private market and Rs 400 per dose for state governments as it prepares to open its vaccines beyond the use of central government's vaccination scheme.

"For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up the vaccine production," said Adar Poonawala in a statement.

“Going ahead, 50% of our capacities will be served to the Government of India's vaccination program, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals," he added.

Comparing the prices with the other vaccines in different countries, SII has stated that while American vaccines are priced at Rs 1,500, Russian and Chinese vaccines would cost Rs 750 per jab, making Covishield a cheaper option.

Earlier, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for what he called a ‘decisive policy changes’ and ‘swift financial aid’ to help COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution in the country.

The Pune-based Serum is manufacturing the vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca as Covishield. SII, the world's biggest vaccine maker, also welcomed government new liberalised vaccination policy, adding that the declaration will accelerate India's vaccination drive.

In a new policy, states can now also buy doses directly from vaccine-makers in the "liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination".

In another big move, the Centre has granted advance funds of Rs 3,000 crore for the Serum Institute and Rs 1,500 crore for Bharat Biotech, which is producing the Covaxin jabs.

On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson has also applied to India's drug regulator seeking permission to conduct phase-3 clinical trial of its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in the country while also seeking an import licence.

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