A day after Serum Institute of India, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has also slashed the price of its Covaxin from ₹ 600 to ₹ 400 per dose for state governments. Earlier, the company had kept the price at ₹600 for one dose. There is no change in the price of Covaxin for private markets and it remains at ₹1,200 per dose.
“Recognising the enormous challenges to the public healthcare system, we have made Covaxin available to state governments at a price of Rs 400 per dose,” the company said in its statement.
“We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing which was determined by internally funded product development, several operationally-intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities, and clinical trial,” it added.
Bharat Biotech – COVAXIN® Announcement – April 29, 2021 pic.twitter.com/RgnROIfUCe
— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) April 29, 2021
On Wednesday, SII also announced it plans to reduce price of its Covishield vaccine for states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose.
“As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, 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 his tweet.
On April 25, Bharat Biotech had announced Covaxin’s price at ₹600 per dose for state governments and ₹1,200 for private hospitals. Recently, Covaxin has been found to neutralise the 617 variant of the deadly virus, according to America’s top pandemic expert Dr Anthony Fauci.
The issue of vaccine pricing has been much debated after the two companies recently put out the prices of their respective vaccines amid the deadly second wave of the pandemic. Opposition has been demanding universal free vaccination.The government had earlier asked the SII and Bharat to lower their prices. The move came ahead of India’s move to expand its drive to include all adults from May 1 under a liberalised and modified vaccination policy.