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Bharat Biotech to sell Covaxin to states at 600 per dose, Pvt hospitals at 1,200

A health worker writes the date and time on a vial of the COVAXIN vaccine before administering the same to people at an indoor stadium in Gauhati. (AP)Premium
A health worker writes the date and time on a vial of the COVAXIN vaccine before administering the same to people at an indoor stadium in Gauhati. (AP)

  • Covaxin’s price is higher than what Serum Institute of India plans to charge for its covid-19 vaccine Covishield, at 400 per dose for central and state governments and 600 for private hospitals

NEW DELHI : Bharat Biotech International Ltd on Saturday announced that it will sell its covid-19 vaccine to state governments at 600 per dose and to private hospitals at 1,200 per dose, a sharp jump from prices it currently charges the Centre for supply.

“Bharat Biotech is honoured to develop, manufacture and supply Covaxin for India’s vaccine rollout at 150 per dose, which is distributed for free by the government of India. We would like to state that more than 50% of our capacities have been reserved for Central government supplies," Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said in a statement on Saturday.

Ella also said that the company will charge $15-$20 for its vaccine during export to other countries.

Covaxin’s price is higher than what Serum Institute of India plans to charge for its covid-19 vaccine Covishield, at 400 per dose for central and state governments and 600 for private hospitals.

However, Bharat Biotech, unlike Serum Institute, has kept its price of Covaxin for supplies to Centre unchanged at 150. Serum Institute has said that it has raised the price of all fresh orders for central to 400 per dose from 150 for the current order of 110 million doses.

While Serum Institute’s vaccine has an efficacy of 53-79%, depending on the interval between two doses, Bharat Biotech’s latest interim data from its phase 3 trial in India showed that Covaxin had an efficacy of 78%.

Serum Institute is facing criticism for its high price of the vaccine, following a report by The Indian Express on Saturday which showed that the new price of 400-600 ($5.3-8.0) per dose of Covishield in India was higher than the price charged by the company and the vaccine’s co-developer AstraZeneca plc in other countries and World Health Organization-led Covax, where it sought anywhere between $3 to $5.25 per dose. In the US, AstraZeneca is planning to sell the vaccine at $4 per dose.

Serum Institute of India chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla on Saturday defended the company’s pricing of Covishield at 400 per dose for central and state governments and 600 for private hospitals, saying that it is still lower than most covid-19 treatments, and increasing the price was necessary to keep it sustainable.

“Only a limited portion of SII's volume will be sold to private hospitals at INR 600 per dose. The price of the vaccine is still lower than a lot of other medical treatment and essentials required to treat covid-19 and other life-threatening diseases," Serum Institute of India said in the statement.

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