The central government on Monday asked the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to lower prices of their COVID-19 vaccines amid criticism from various states who objected to profiteering during such a major crisis.
The issue of vaccine pricing was discussed at a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
Now the two companies are expected to come up with revised pricing for their vaccines.
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.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker in terms of volume, has 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.
Both vaccines are available to the central government at a rate of Rs 150 per dose.
Many states have objected to different prices of the vaccines, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying this is not time for profiteering.
India has announced expansion of its COVID-19 vaccination drive by allowing its large 18-plus population to get inoculated from May 1.