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Bharat Biotech reduces price of Covaxin for state governments

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After the Serum Institute of India reduced the price of Covishield, the maker of Covaxin—Bharat Biotech—has followed suit.

Bharat Biotech on Thursday reduced the price of its COVID-19 vaccine for state governments from Rs 600 to Rs 400. However, the price of Covaxin for private hospitals remains unchanged at Rs 1,200 per shot.

In a public announcement, Bharat Biotech said that it is deeply concerned with the critical pandemic circumstances that India is currently facing. “Recognising the enormous challenges to the public health care system, we have made Covaxin available to state governments at a price of Rs 400 per dose, it said.

Notably, the development comes after a huge outrage over differential pricing of vaccines by Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech. While the vaccines are being made available to the Union government at a much cheaper rate, the companies are charging a significantly higher rate from state governments.

Also Read: Over 3.79 lakh COVID cases, 3,645 deaths in India in a day; highest in the world so far

Several non-BJP ruled states have raked up the issue with Opposition parties blaming the Centre for allowing the two companies to “profiteering” when the country’s health infrastructure is crumbling.

Serum Institute reduced price

Serum Institute of India (SII) had on Wednesday reduced the price of Covishield from Rs 400 per shot to Rs 300 per shot.  Following the backlash over the differential pricing of vaccines, Poonawalla on Wednesday reduced the price of the vaccine calling it a “philanthropic gesture”.

He tweeted, “As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs.400 to Rs.300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives.”

Several state governments have placed huge orders with these companies and it will take months for the vaccine makers to supply such large quantities of vaccines. However, with the aggravating COVID-19 situation in the country, a faster-than-expected vaccination drive seems to be the only way out.

 

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