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Serum Institute of India has said it will sell Covishield to private hospitals at 600 per dose. Even adding 100 as a probable jab-administration fee, this would make its vaccine competitive against foreign rivals expected to enter India’s newly opened market. Russia’s Sputnik V, for example, will be priced at $10, or roughly 750, per dose.

With Serum and Sputnik V setting the bar for private jabs, other manufacturers would find it difficult to charge much more, unless they opt to serve only a tiny segment of well-off Indians, some of whom have reportedly been flying to Dubai for mRNA jabs available there. Some confusion, though, prevails over whether those who’ve taken a shot at a private facility for 250 would have to pay more for their second dose, as reports suggest that the government’s supply will soon be restricted to state-run vaccination centres. Meanwhile, calls have grown louder for the proprietary formulas of mRNA vaccines to be given away for free, so that they can be mass-produced at low cost for poor countries. The World Health Organization has proposed a technology- transfer hub for this. This needs to be done. Ultimately, unless we’re all safe, nobody will be.

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