Chennai, Apr 21 (PTI) DMK President M K Stalin on Wednesday expressed concern over the 'differential pricing' for Covishield vaccines to be procured by the Centre and the states, calling it 'discriminatory' and urged the union government to ensure common prices for all.
Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine maker, on Wednesday announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine Covishield for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.
Stalin expressed 'shock' and concern over SII fixing Rs 400 per for its vaccine for state governments and wondered if states, including Tamil Nadu, can shoulder the 'burden' amid existing financial constraints.
'The differential pricing for vaccines between Union & State Governments is discriminatory and defeats theobjective of universal vaccination. Urge @PMOIndia to ensure common vaccine prices for all,' he said in a tweet tagging the official handle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
States must also receive Central funding to procure vaccines as per their needs, he added.
In a seperate statement, he said that SII's decision on pricing came at a time when the Centre has announced universal vaccination, i.e for all persons aged over 18 years from May 1, and this was 'worrying and shocking.' '...this strong price rise is not only inhumane, but will also create a big impact in the covid prevention activities,' he claimed.
'Already when the state is in severe financial crunch, can Tamil Nadu or any other state shoulder the burden' of the price of the vaccine?' he asked.
He insisted that the vaccine be sold to the states at Rs 150, on par with the Centre, and that the union government hold talks with the firm concerned for this.
The Centre should allocate the additional expenses incurred by the states in procurement of vaccines, Stalin added. PTI SA APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR