INDIA. Mumbai: In response to criticism over different prices of COVID-19 vaccine for the centre and states, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech have reduced the price of COVID-19 vaccines for states.
The Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of “Covaxin” on Thursday said that the anti-viral drug will be available to state governments for Rs 400 per dose. Earlier the Bharat Biotech had fixed the price of “Covaxin”, at Rs 600 per dose for states and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals. “Covaxin” is one of the two vaccines which are a part of India’s vaccination drive against COVID-19.
Similarly, SII chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday said that the SII has reduced the price of “Covishield” for states to Rs.300 per dose from Rs.400 earlier. “As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, I hereby announce that the price of “Covishield” will be reduced from Rs.400 to Rs.300 per dose to states effective immediately. This will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives,” Poonawalla tweeted.
Earlier the SII had announced Rs 400 per dose for states and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals. Both vaccines are available to the central government at a rate of Rs 150 per dose. The government’s current order of 110 million doses of “Covishield” is being supplied by SII at Rs.150 ($2) per dose, which is the lowest in the world for the vaccine originally developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca plc.
In another development, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday asked the states to impose local restrictions in districts that have a higher number of COVID-19 cases.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Friday to review the COVID-19 preparedness in the country.
India recorded a massive surge of 3,79,257 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours on Thursday. With this, India has seen the biggest-ever daily surge, taking the caseload to 1,83,76,524. The country also recorded 3645 deaths and 2,69,507 discharges in the 24 hours, as per Union Health Ministry. The death toll from the deadly novel coronavirus infection stood at 2,04,832.
In the meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the country crossed 15.21 crore with over 20 lakh shots administered on Thursday.