Bharat Biotech changes vaccine prices

Twitterati spill anger over Covaxin pricing

When the time India is facing the second wave of virus, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin will be available to state governments at Rs600 a dose and private hospitals at Rs1,200 a dose as vaccination drive open for all above 18 years of age from 1 May 2021.

The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech said "Following the Govt of India directives, we announce the prices of COVAXIN vaccines – Rs600 per dose for state hospitals and Rs1,200 per dose for private hospitals."

The vaccine manufacturer stated that Covaxin will be also be exported and the export price would be between USD15-20 (Rs1,123 to Rs1,498 approximately). According to the company, the recovering costs is essential in the journey of innovation towards other vaccines such as Intranasal Covid-19, as they want to provide affordable, yet world-class healthcare solutions for the globe. The company also said they are "deeply concerned" by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in India and the rest of the world.

Initially the price was Rs 150 per dose, which is distributed for free by the Government of India even still now more than 50% of our capacities have been reserved for central government supplies.

Till now, 12,76,05,870 COVID-19 vaccination jabs administered till now, 11,60,65,107 are of Covishield while 1,15,40,763 are of Covaxin, according to the government's CO-WIN portal.

Moreover, about 15 states and union territories, including Goa, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir, have administered only Covishield to its beneficiaries. Experts said Covishield is being produced at a much higher scale than Covaxin due to which its availability is more.

Meanwhile after this, Twitterati spill anger over Covaxin pricing. One user said “if the vaccine is meant to save people or kill them with such huge cost burden. In India there are almost 75 % population, who cannot afford this high cost. As the variation in the price of vaccine from Rs. 150 kept for central government to Rs. 1200 for private hospitals.

Is this made to kill 70% Indians? Have the #CentralGovernment thought? Asked another.

Another user said “This looks like simply Indian manufacturers don't want the vaccine to be sold in India so quoting so much high prices where a local production actually has to have lesser price tag. Rs.1200 this is much more than what Covishield has been quoted.”

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