COVID-19 vaccine: From May 1, 2021, a jab of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine will cost Rs 600 in private hospitals.
From May 1, 2021 onwards a jab of Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield (AstraZeneca) vaccine will cost Rs 600 in a private hospital. What is interesting though is that all those who had received (or will receive) their first jab of Covishield for Rs 250 in a private hospital during this month (April, 2021), will end up paying Rs 600 for their second dose when it becomes due after the mandatory six to eight weeks of interval.
Days after the Centre had announced its ‘Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy’ which will become effective from May 1, and under which vaccine manufacturers would be free to supply 50 per cent of their monthly doses to state governments and in the open market; SII on Wednesday said that it will sell its Covishield vaccine at Rs 400 per dose to state governments and to private hospitals at Rs 600.
The new rates would be applicable from May 1, 2021 when the Centre’s liberalised vaccination strategy comes into force.
Currently Covishield vaccine costs Rs 250 in private hospitals, which is a highly subsidised rate as the Centre has till now been directly procuring it from SII.
However once the liberalised pricing and vaccination strategy becomes applicable, the present dispensation where private Covid vaccination centres (private hospitals) receive doses from Government and charge up to Rs 250 per dose, will cease to exist.
Also under the liberalised pricing and vaccination strategy, the Centre has said that “private companies would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Government of India and would be free to supply remaining 50% doses to state governments and in the open market.
In other words, states which till now were now getting the Covishield vaccine through Centre, will from May 1 onwards, procure it directly from the manufacturer.
As the new vaccination strategy guidelines clearly state that manufacturers would have to, in a transparent manner, declare the price of the vaccine (meant to be supplied to states and in the open market) before May 1, therefore SII announced its new price for Covishield today.
Under the liberalised strategy, Centre has opened vaccination for all citizens who are 18 years and above.