Covishield will be sold at Rs 400 per dose to the state government and Rs 600 to private hospitals, Serum Institute of India (SII) said on Wednesday. Covishield is known as AstraZeneca vaccine across the world.
SII, an Indian biotechnology and pharmaceuticals company, issued a statement after the government allowed vaccination of all persons above the age of 18 from May 1. The decision was announced after a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with pharma companies, doctors, Cabinet ministers in charge of health, drugs and officials spanning multiple nodal ministries.
Serum chief Adar Poonawalla welcomed the government’s announcement to accelerate India’s vaccination drive. “The promising directives will help to scale up vaccine production, and allow state governments, private hospitals, and vaccination centers to procure vaccines directly,” Poonawalla said.
He also said that for the next two months, they will address the limited capacity by scaling up the vaccine production.
“Going ahead, 50 per cent of our capacities will be served to the Government of India’s vaccination programme, and the remaining 50 per cent of of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals,” the company said.
The company also stated that considering the global vaccine prices which cost anywhere from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 per dose, they are ensuring that vaccines are affordable in India in comparison to any other vaccines in the world.
“Furthermore, owing to the complexity, and urgency of the situation it is challenging to supply 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,” the company stated.
In the next four to five months, the vaccines will be made available in retail and free trade.