PM Narendra Modi on Monday addressed the nation over COVID-19 situation in India. During the address, he stated that 25 per cent of vaccine doses produced in the country will go to the private sector.
He said, “Indian government will provide free vaccines to the citizens -- be it poor, lower-income group, middle-income group or high-income group. In government's vaccination drive, everyone will be administered free vaccines.”
He added that individuals, who do not wish to take free vaccines and wish to take them in private hospitals, can do so as well; and the government is addressing that need too. Modi emphasised about 25 per cent of the total vaccine doses produced in the country will be supplied directly to private hospitals. “This arrangement will continue.”
Meanwhile, Modi capped the service charge on a vaccine dose, in the recent announcement. “Other than the cost of a vaccine dose, a private hospital can only charge up to Rs 150 as service charges.” This will be monitored by the state government.
In February, the centre had capped vaccine prices at Rs 250 per dose in private hospitals, while vaccinations in government health facilities are free of cost. Of the Rs 250, private hospitals earn Rs 100 as service charge, while Rs 150 goes to the vaccine maker. But now the government has not clarified what the price of the vaccine will be in addition to the service charges in the private hospitals. The government is allowing the vaccine makers to fix the rate.
Meanwhile, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) in April priced Covishield at Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals. In the case of Bharat Biotech, it had earlier announced that a single dose would cost hospitals Rs 1,200. There will an additional GST attached as well in some cases.
At present, many hospitals are charging anywhere between Rs 700 to Rs 1,250 for one dose of vaccine.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)