Serum Institute of India, the most used vaccine maker of Covid-19 in the country, on Saturday defended the decision to fix the price of the Covishield vaccine one-and-a-half times the initial price, saying the initial price was based on advance funding and now it needs to invest more to increase production capacity.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) had earlier this week fixed the vaccine price at Rs 400 per dose for a new agreement with state governments and the central government and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals. SII produces AstraZeneca’s vaccine Covishield. It is currently supplying the vaccine to the central government at the rate of Rs 150 per dose.
The initial price of Covishield was the lowest,
SII said, making an inaccurate comparison between the price of India vaccine and global prices. Covishield is the cheapest Covid-19 vaccine available on the market today. The company said the initial price was low worldwide, as it was based on advance funding from countries that included the risk of vaccine manufacture. The initial price of Covishield was the lowest for all government immunization programs, including India, the statement said.
SII told the price
The company further said that the current situation is completely different, the virus is constantly changing, while the public remains at risk. To identify uncertainty, we must ensure stability, as we have to invest in capacity expansion to fight the epidemic and save lives. SII said a small portion of the vaccine would be sold to private hospitals at a rate of Rs 600 per dose and that price is still lower than many other medical treatments.
Announced vaccine prices on April
On April 21, the serum institute of India announced the prices of Covishield vaccine of Covid-19. The company says that it will get Rs 400 in government hospitals, while in private hospitals it will have to pay Rs 600. It is worth noting that this vaccine dose is available for free in government hospitals, while in private hospitals it costs Rs 250.