'To Save Countless Lives': SII Reduces Covishield Cost from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per Dose for States

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The Serum Institute of India has reduced the price of Covishield vaccine from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose for states. This was announced by SII CEO Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday. “As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, 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,” Poonawalla wrote in a tweet.

The development comes at a time when there has been a raging debate over the pricing of vaccines in the country. The government had earlier asked the SII and Bharat Biotech, makers of the two vaccines currently in use in India, to lower their prices, news agency PTI reported on Monday, quoting official sources. The government has said free vaccination for those above 45, and health care and front line workers at government hospitals will continue, as is the practice now.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to explain to it the rationale and basis behind different price slabs of covid-19 vaccines. In the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, senior advocate and SCBA (Supreme Court Bar Association) President Vikas Singh informed the bench that there has been different price slabs for vaccines to be procured by the Centre, states and the private hospitals.

The pricing policy has allowed vaccine manufacturers to fix the price and under it, Serum Institute of India has announced that it will sell Covishield to states at Rs 400 per dose and to private hospitals at the rate of Rs 600 per dose.

However, it has been selling the vaccine at Rs 150 per dose to the Centre, one of the lawyers said.

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