Serum Institute said that it will price its vaccine Covishield at Rs 600 per dose in the private market and Rs 400 for state governments. The company is preparing to open up its vaccine beyond the use of the Centre's vaccination scheme. Adar Poonawalla said that the company will ramp up production in the next two months.
"For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up the vaccine production," said Poonawala in a statement. "Going ahead, 50% of our capacities will be served to the Government of India's vaccination program, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals," Poonawalla stated.
The pricing comes after the central government said that vaccination will be opened up for everyone above the age of 18 years from May 1. It asked state governments to procure vaccines. It also allowed private companies to sell the vaccine in open markets.
Serum also said that its vaccines are cheapest compared to the rest. The 'American vaccines' -- Pfizer and Moderna's -- are estimated to be Rs 1,500 per dose, while Sputnik V is priced at Rs 750 per dose. Chinese vaccines are also priced at Rs 750, it said.
The company welcomed the new vaccine policy and said that "the recent announcement made by Government of India's Ministry of Health and Finance Ministry to accelerate India's vaccination drive."
Serum asked private companies to access the vaccine through state facilitated machinery. "Furthermore, owing to the complexity, and urgency of the situation it is challenging to supply it independently to each corporate entity. We would urge all corporate and private individuals to access the vaccines through the state facilitated machinery and private health systems. Post 4-5 months, the vaccines will be made available in retail and free trade," it said.
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