“Govt of India’s procurement price for both #COVID19 vaccines remains Rs 150 per dose”, says Centre over Vaccine price controversy

Story Highlights
  • Adar Poonawalla plays smart as India preps for the third phase of Vaccination from May 1
  • SII Hikes Covishield price from Rs 150 to Rs 400
  • Congress leader Jairam Ramesh raises a voice against the pricing

New Delhi: After the government announced the third phase of vaccination from May 1. Confusions prevail as to how much will the Centre procure the new batch of Covishield from the SII. 

 Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla reportedly has confirmed that for new contracts, the Centre will also have to pay Rs 400 for each dose of Covishield, like state and UT governments.  However, the Union health ministry on Saturday issued a clarification saying that the Centre will procure both the vaccines at Rs 150 only. And those doses will be provided free to the states. 

Ministry of Health tweeted that ” It is clarified that Govt of India’s procurement price for both #COVID19 vaccines remains Rs 150 per dose. GOI procured doses will continue to be provided TOTALLY FREE to States.”

The Centre granted vaccine producers an open market to sell their vaccines directly to states and private hospitals. This development came after the government expanded its vaccination drive covering individuals above 18 years of citizens in the eligible category.  Till the second phase, vaccine procurement was centralised with the government of India procuring the vaccines and sending them to states. As states have increased per day vaccinations, a shortage of doses was being reported in April from several states. 

 Serum Institute said it will provide Covishield to states at ₹400 per dose and to private hospitals at ₹600 per dose. Justifying its hike, Adar Poonawalla stated “Rs 150 to be a special price for the initial procurement by the Government. However, now it will have to pay Rs 400 for each dose.”

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday raised the issue of pricing and said if for the new orders, the government has to pay ₹400, then it will be paying higher than what the US, UK, EU, Saudi, Bangladesh and the South African government paid.

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