Bharat Biotech prices Covaxin at Rs 600 for states, Rs 1,200 for pvt hospitals

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) Bharat Biotech has fixed the price of its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, at Rs 600 per dose for state governments and at Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals, the vaccine maker announced on Saturday.

In a statement, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna M Ella said the company is supplying the vaccine to the Central Government at Rs 150 per dosage.

'We would like to state that more than 50 per cent of our capacities have been reserved for Central Government supplies,' Ella said.

Recovering cost is essential in the journey of innovation towards other vaccines such as intranasal Covid-19, Chikungunya, Zika, Cholera and others, he added.

The company has tagged the vaccine between USD 15-20 for export markets.

Earlier this week, Serum Institute of India (SII) had announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for 'Covishield' for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

The company also said for the next two months, it will address the issue of limited capacity by scaling up 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 the capacity will be for the state governments and private hospitals,' Serum Institute of India had said in a statement.

American vaccines in the private market cost more than Rs 1,500 per dose, while Russian and Chinese vaccines cost greater than Rs 750 per dose, it had noted.

Covishield comprises over 90 per cent of the 12.76 crore COVID-19 vaccines administered across the country so far, according to government data on Wednesday.

Of the 127,605,870 COVID-19 vaccination jabs administered till now, 11,60,65,107 are of Covishield, while 1,15,40,763 are Covaxin, according to the government's CO-WIN portal.

Earlier in the day, the government waived customs duty on the import of COVID vaccines as well as medical grade oxygen and related equipment as the nation battled its worst health crisis with a 'tsunami' of infections setting a new world record for cases for the third consecutive day.

The decision to exempt customs duty was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost oxygen availability in the country.

Customs duty waiver on imported vaccines would help to keep the cost of overseas vaccines low, that are being eyed to supplement domestically made shots ahead of the opening of COVID-19 vaccination to all citizens over 18 years of age.

The government had previously waived customs duty on imported Remdesivir injections and the drug's active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) to boost supplies.

India reported a record 346,786 new infections on Saturday, bringing its total to 1.66 crore. Deaths also rose by a record 2,624 to total 189,544. PTI MSS MR