Maharashtra government on Friday stated that from May 1 onwards the private hospitals will have to procure COVID-19 vaccine doses directly from manufacturers.
Maharashtra health secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas, speaking about the same, said that the state government, which right now supplies doses to private hospitals against payment, will not do so as per the Centre's direction.
May 1, where all citizens above the age of 18 in the country will be eligible for immunisation. So far only people above the age of 45 years were eligible to get vaccinated. The Centre has liberalised the vaccination drive for phase three and allowed states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
However, several states have informed that they will not be able to start the vaccination drive on May 1 due to the unavailability of the vaccines.
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced it will supply its COVID-19 vaccine--Covaxin to state governments at Rs 400 per dose.
"Recognizing the enormous challenges to the public health care system, we have made Covaxin available to State Governments at a price of Rs 400 per dose," Bharat Biotech said in a statement.
Following the Government of India directives last week, the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker announced that it will provide COVAXIN to state government hospitals at the rate of Rs 600 per dose and private hospitals to Rs 1,200 per dose.
A reduction of Rs 200 comes a day after the Serum Institute of India (SII) lowered the price of Covishield for states to Rs 300 per dose, from the earlier announced Rs 400.
Lowing the price, Bharat Biotech said, "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 (the first of its kind in our country) and clinical trials." Covaxin is one of the two vaccines being manufactured in India currently and is developed by Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.
Besides Covaxin, India approved the emergency use authorisation for two other vaccines Covishield and Sputnik V for its inoculation program against COVID-19.
(With inputs from ANI)