A day after announcing differential pricing for the Covid-19 vaccine Covishield for the central and state governments, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Thursday that there would be no differential pricing. The central government will also have to pay Rs 400 per dose from now on.
In response to the criticism for offering the Covishield vaccine at Rs 150 to the central government and Rs 400 to state governments, Poonawalla said his company would charge Rs 400 per dose to any government. SII’s price of Rs 150 to the central government was for prior commitments and contracts. SII has already suppled ten crore doses to the central government, and these have been administered. In March, it signed a new contract to supply another 11 crore doses, which the company will start delivering this month. After providing these, the vaccine maker will negotiate a new contract at the new price of Rs 400 if the Centre decides to buy any more doses from them, Poonawalla said. SII had on Wednesday announced that state governments would get the vaccine at Rs 400 per dose and private hospitals at Rs 600 per dose.
The country’s new vaccine strategy will be open to all adults from May 1.
SII will supply 50% of the Covishield production to state governments and private hospitals and the rest to the central government. As of Thursday, India’s cumulative vaccination coverage was 13.23 crore doses, with Covishield accounting for around 90% of the shots administered so far.