As per the latest GOI directives, the centre will not provide private hospitals with vaccines. As part of the new liberalised policy from May 1, they will need to procure them directly from vaccine-makers.
Serum Institute of India on Wednesday announced the pricing for its covid vaccine, Covidshield as Rs 600 per shot for the private hospitals and Rs 400 per shot for the state governments. This has been done as a preparation to open its vaccines availability beyond the use of the central government’s vaccination drive.
"For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up the vaccine production. Going ahead, 50 per cent of our capacities will be served to the government of India's vaccination programme, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the state governments and private hospitals," said Adar Poonawalla in a statement.
Serum Institute said that the cost of foreign vaccines ranges from Rs 700 to Rs 1500 a shot and that their vaccine is still more affordable in comparison. This announcement came after the Centre decided to liberalise vaccine procurement and allow everyone above 18 years of age to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from 1st May.
The government also announced an aid of Rs 4,500 crore to vaccine makers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech - which makes the made in India Covaxin.
Serum’s chief Adar Poonawalla said that the ramp-up in vaccine production will start immediately and they would be able to supply over 100 million doses per month after July.
Recently Mr Poonawalla tweeted to the US President Joe Biden urging him to lift the embargo on raw materials export needed for Covidshield’s production in India. “The US government has responded through their media that they acknowledge the issue and they are looking into it but nothing has been done to ease the embargo…”, he said.
Amid a steep rise in Covid cases in India and reports of shortage, the centre paused exports under its "vaccine maitri" programme. This is believed that the situation would continue at least till July.