New Delhi: The Serum Institute of India (SII) has slashed the price of Covishield dose for states from Rs 400 to Rs 300, announced SII CEO Adar Poonawalla. “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.Also Read - Serum Institute Defends Pricing Covishield Vaccine Higher For Private Hospitals, States | Full Statement
The development came days after the Covishield pricing created controversy with SII being accused of keeping different price slabs for the centre and the states.
The Supreme Court had Tuesday taken note of different prices of COVID-19 vaccines for Centre, states and the private hospitals and asked the central government to explain to it the “rationale and basis” behind such a pricing policy.
Amid the controversy, the vaccine maker had few days ago defended pricing Covishield vaccine at 1.5 times the initial rate, asserting that the rates were still lower than a lot of other medical treatment and essentials required to treat COVID-19 and other life-threatening diseases. Adar Poonawalla had reasoned that prices were initially low globally owing to advance funding. However, the institute was now focusing on investing in scaling up and expanding capacity to produce more shots, he had added.
Initially, the vaccine maker had announced a price of Rs 400 for state governments. This compared to Rs 150 per dose it charges the central government for the existing supplies. This led to a controversy over different rates being charged from state governments and the Centre for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, during his interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had urged the centre to follow the “one nation, one rate” policy for Coronavirus vaccines.