Bharat Biotech International Limited said on Saturday Covaxin, the vaccine it has developed against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), will be available to state governments at ₹600 and at ₹1200 for private hospitals for the third phase of the country’s inoculation drive starting next month. Krishna M Ella, the Hyderabad-based company’s chairman and managing director, said in a statement that the company announced the prices of Covaxin following the directive of the Centre. The vaccine against Covid-19 will cost in the range of $15 to $20 for exports, Ella also said in the statement.
“We are deeply concerned by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in India & the world. We sincerely wish for the safety and good health of everyone. Bharat Biotech is honoured to develop, manufacture & supply COVAXIN for India’s vaccine rollout at Rs.150/dose, which is distributed for free by the Govt. of India. We would like to state that more than 50% of our capacities have been reserved for Central Government supplies,” Ella said in the statement.
Covaxin, along with Covishield which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), is being used by the Centre in its massive vaccination drive across the country battling the second wave of the pandemic.
“COVAXIN’ is an inactivated and highly purified vaccine, making manufacturing expensive due to very low process yields. All costs towards product development, manufacturing facilities and clinical trials were deployed primarily using internal funding and resources of Bharat Biotech,” Ella said. “Recovering costs is essential in the journey of innovation towards other vaccines such as Intranasal COVID-19, Chikungunyo, Zika, Cholera, and others. Our core mission for the last 25 years has been to provide affordable, yet world-class healthcare solutions for the globe,” he added.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) said on Wednesday it will sell one jab of this two-dose vaccine for ₹600 for private facilities and ₹400 for state governments. The Pune-based company’s chief executive Adar Poonawalla later said the Centre will also have to pay ₹400 for each dose of Covishield for new contracts, according to reports. However, the Union health ministry said on Saturday that the Centre will procure the Covid-19 vaccine at ₹150 and those doses will be provided free to the states.
India’s infection tally rose by 346,786, a new world record for the third consecutive day, as overwhelmed hospitals reported a shortage in oxygen supplies. India is witnessing the deadlier second wave of the pandemic as the government’s aims to vaccinate as many people as possible as it will open vaccinations for all adults from next month.