Drug maker Pfizer has offered to supply its COVID-19 vaccine at a 'not-for-profit' rate to the Indian government for its vaccination programme amidst the increasing COVID1-19 cases in the country.
"For India, Pfizer has offered a not-for-profit price for its vaccine for the government immunisation programme. We continue to be in discussions with the government and remain committed to make our vaccine available for deployment in India's immunisation programme," a Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement.
The company issued the statement to dismiss a recent report about the rate of the American company's COVID-19 vaccine in India.
Pfizer said it has adopted a distinct pricing structure for high, middle, and low/lower-middle-income countries, which is consistent with the company's commitment to work towards equitable and affordable access for its COVID-19 vaccine for people across the world.
"During the current pandemic situation worldwide, Pfizer has maintained that its priority would be to exclusively support governments through the supply of its vaccine only to governments for their immunisation programmes. This would be our approach in India as well," it said.
In order to speed up the nationwide vaccination drive, the Centre had last week fast-tracked approval process for foreign vaccines which have been approved by the drug regulators in US, Europe, UK and Japan. Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are reportedly in discussions with the government for emergency use approval for their COVID-19 vaccines.
Pfizer is currently charging $19.5 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. In the European Union, the company recently hiked the price of its vaccine to 15.5 euros per dose and then to 19.5 euros per dose for orders scheduled to be delivered in 2022-23.
From May 1, all Indians above the age of 18 years would be eligible to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The Centre has permitted vaccine manufacturers to release up to 50 per cent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price.
States have also been empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, as well as open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 years for the same.