NEW DELHI: Pune's Serum Institute of India (SII), a Cyrus Poonawalla group company, on Wednesday announced it is fixing the price of Covishield (the AstraZeneca vaccine) at Rs 400 per dose in state government establishments and Rs 600 per dose in private hospitals. The group has promised to put the vaccine on retail shelves within four to five months.
The price fixed by it for private hospitals is three times the subsidised rate at which vaccines were being administered by establishments thus far.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, however, is still silent on the price at which it will sell the vaccine to the state governments and private hospitals.
Incidentally, on Wednesday, ICMR claimed Covaxin neutralises multiple variants of SARS-COV-2 (Covid-19) and is also effective against the double mutant.
In a media statement, Serum CEO Adar C Poonawalla promised to ramp up vaccine production for the next two months. It said it is fixing the prices of its vaccine in the context of the Modi government allowing the manufacturers to sell directly 50% of their production to the state governments and private hospitals.
"We are ensuring that our vaccines are affordable, as against vaccines available elsewhere in the world. The price per dose in private markets is: American vaccines -- Rs 1500; Russian vaccines -- Rs 750; and Chinese at Rs 750," the Serum CEO said.
The Centre will continue to get both the vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- at a pre-agreed rate of Rs 150 per dose. While SII has agreed to supply 20 crore doses of Covishield to the Centre by July, Bharat Biotech has said it will be able to supply only 9 crore doses to the Centre by that deadline.
Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said it is expanding its production capacity across multiple facilities in Hyderabad and Bengaluru to produce 70 crore doses annually.
To further scale up its capacities, Bharat Biotech has signed up with Indian Immunologicals Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad, to produce the drug substance for Covaxin.