The Serum Institute of India (SII) has reduced the price of its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' from Rs. 400 to Rs. 300 per dose to the states, said CEO Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday.
"As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, 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 tweeted.
This comes after the Central government on Monday reportedly asked the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech to lower the prices of their COVID-19 vaccines ahead of the third phase of the vaccination drive from May 1 where all citizens above the age of 18 will be administered the vaccine.
According to news agency PTI, the issue of vaccine pricing was discussed at a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba. And now the two manufacturing companies were expected to come up with revised pricing for their vaccines.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) had earlier announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine, 'Covishield', for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals. On the other hand, the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has fixed the price of its COVID-19 vaccine, 'Covaxin', at Rs 600 per dose for state governments and at Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals. Now, it to be seen whether Bharat Biotech will also reduce its price.
Meanwhile, now all those aged above 18 can register themselves on the CoWIN portal or using the Aarogya Setu app to get vaccinated against COVID-19. "An increased demand is expected once the vaccination is opened for all. For the purpose of crowd control, registering on CoWIN portal and making an appointment to get a vaccine will be mandatory for those aged between 18 and 45 years. Walks-in will not be allowed in the beginning so that there is no chaos," an official told PTI.