Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin prices: Rs 600 per dose for states, Rs 1200 for pvt hospitals

Bharat Biotech has said that it would reserve 50 percent of the vaccine doses for the Union government.
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Bharat Biotech late on April 24 announced its prices for the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. The company said it has fixed the price of Covaxin at Rs 600 per dose for state governments and at Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals. The price of Covaxin is more expensive than Serum Institute of India (SII)’s Covishield. 

"We would like to state that more than 50 per cent of our capacities have been reserved for Central Government supplies," Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna M Ella said. Recovering cost is essential in the journey of innovation towards other vaccines such as intranasal Covid-19, Chikungunya, Zika, Cholera and others, he added. The company has tagged the vaccine between USD 15-20 for export markets.

In a statement, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna M Ella said the company is supplying the vaccine to the Central Government at Rs 150 per dosage. Several leaders from opposition parties had questioned the difference in prices for states and the Union government, and called for vaccines to be free for all. Telangana Urban Development Minister KTR has also raised questions on the disparity in the pricing of vaccines.

Multiple states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have announced that the vaccination drive beginning on May 1 for those between the ages of 18 and 45 will be free of cost.

Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield will be sold to the state governments at a price of Rs 400 per dose and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals. The company had also said for the next two months, it will address the issue of limited capacity by scaling up vaccine production.

"Going ahead, 50 percent of our capacities will be served to the Government of India's vaccination programme, and the remaining 50 per cent of the capacity will be for the state governments and private hospitals," Serum Institute of India had said in a statement.

American vaccines in the private market cost more than Rs 1,500 per dose, while Russian and Chinese vaccines cost greater than Rs 750 per dose, it had noted.

Covishield comprises over 90 per cent of the 12.76 crore COVID-19 vaccines administered across the country so far, according to government data on Wednesday.

Of the 127,605,870 COVID-19 vaccination jabs administered till now, 11,60,65,107 are of Covishield, while 1,15,40,763 are Covaxin, according to the government's CO-WIN portal.

Earlier, the government waived customs duty on the import of COVID vaccines as well as on medical grade oxygen and related equipment as the nation battled its worst health crisis with a 'tsunami' of infections setting a new world record for cases for the third consecutive day. The decision to exempt customs duty was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost oxygen availability in the country.

Customs duty waiver on imported vaccines would help to keep the cost of overseas vaccines low, that are being eyed to supplement domestically made shots ahead of the opening of COVID-19 vaccination to all citizens over 18 years of age.

The government had previously waived customs duty on imported Remdesivir injections and the drug's active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) to boost supplies.

India reported a record 346,786 new infections on Saturday, bringing its total to 1.66 crore. Deaths also rose by a record high of 2,624 to take the death toll to a total of 1,89,544.

With PTI Inputs

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