SII to sell AstraZeneca vaccine to private hospitals

22 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: Covishield will be sold at 400 rupees a shot to states and 600 rupees to private hospitals, the Serum Institute of India (SII) said on Wednesday, days ahead of a new round of vaccinations from May 1 that will include all above 18.

The centre will continue to receive Covishield doses at 150 rupees each, which means it will be cheapest to get a vaccine shot from central government hospitals or establishments.

Serum said its vaccines will still be more affordable than foreign jabs, which cost anywhere from 750 rupees to 1,500 rupees a shot.

As part of the government’s new policy, 50 per cent of the vaccine doses will be reserved for the centre and the rest will be divided between states and private hospitals.

Serum said supplying the vaccine independently to corporates would be challenging and urged companies and individuals to access the shots through states and private hospitals.

“...owing to the complexity, and urgency of the situation it is challenging to supply it independently to each corporate entity,” said Serum in its statement.

“We would urge all corporate and private individuals to access the vaccines through the state facilitated machinery and private health systems.”

An additional 1.2 million doses will be needed when inoculations, carried out in stages since January, open to all adults. Several states have flagged a shortage of vaccine shots. With the government announcing 4,500 crore rupees aid to vaccine-makers Serum and Bharat Biotech - which produces the made-in-India Covaxin -             

Serum chief Adar Poonawalla says a ramp-up will start immediately and by the end of May, there will be 15 to 20 per cent more doses of Covishield in the market.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Poonawalla also said the doses would be “evenly split” between states and private suppliers and that prices would vary from the centre to states and private hospitals.

Poonawalla said his company would be able to supply over 100 million doses per month after July.”We are ramping up immediately and the big ramp-up will happen post-July. But even between now and July we will ramp up 15 to 20 per cent in our monthly capacities. Starting by the end of May, there will be 15-20 per cent more doses in the market. After July, it will be 40 per cent... so after July we will cross 100 million doses per month,” he told NDTV.