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Serum Institute defends Covid-19 vaccine pricing

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Amid the debate over the price of Corona vaccine in India, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has defended its decision to sell the vaccine at one and a half times the initial price.

SII has said that the cost of the vaccine, which was earlier mentioned, was based on initial funding, but now it has to increase its production and investment in view of the demand.

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The serum institute that made Oxford-AstraZeneca’s covishield set a dose of Rs 400 for a vaccine for the state governments this week and Rs 600 for a new contract from the central government.

Serum Institute said in its statement, “The vaccine in India is being unfairly compared to the global vaccine prices. Covishield is the cheapest vaccine on the market.”

The Serum Institute also said that even for private hospitals, the price of Rs 600 per dose will remain for a fixed period.

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SII has stated that the price of covishield is far less than many life saving drugs and vaccines.

Recently, the central government had announced that from May 1, all people above 18 years of age would be able to get vaccinated and in the same order, the government had also changed the policy related to vaccine prices.

According to the new policy, state governments and private institutions will be able to purchase vaccines directly from the vaccine manufacturer companies. Apart from this, vaccine manufacturers will also be able to sell 50% dose in the open market.

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Since the announcement of the new policy, there was a growing concern among the people about the cost of vaccine and questions were also raised on the claims of free vaccine of the government.

Now the central government has made it clear that the price of both the covishield and covaxine will be Rs. 150.

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The Health Ministry has also made it clear that the Central Government will continue to provide free vaccines to the states.

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