After announcing the prices of the Covishield vaccine for state governments and private hospitals, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala said the new vaccine price is still 33–50 percent of the global vaccine price anywhere in the world .
Speaking to CNBC TV-18, Poonawala further said that SII would never take advantage of the epidemic, saying that ‘we are losing Rs 150 per dose’. SII has to pay 50 percent royalty to Astra Zeneca, he adds.
Earlier, on 21 April, SII released its Covishield vaccine pricing – Rs 400 for state governments and Rs 600 for private hospitals per dose.
Poonawala said that after the opening of the vaccination policy, Rs 400 per dose was also the new purchase price for the center.
The CEO has also mentioned that states can buy from SII at Rs 400 per dose, but they are not required to do so as the center is still providing them the vaccine for free.
Everyone over the age of 18 will be eligible to receive vaccinations against COVID-19 from May 1, the center announced on April 19 as it allowed states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to purchase directly from manufacturers Liberalized the vaccination campaign for.
The central government had said that manufacturers would have to “transparently” announce in advance the price at which the vaccines would be available in the open market before the state governments and before May 1.
Poonawala further said that the export price of vaccines will also increase, now that the vaccine has been certified and the efficacy has been proved. He also said that any side effects of the vaccine could be investigated.
The supply of 110 million doses of contract to the central government has already started, he said, adding that 9-10 crore doses of the vaccine were supplied to the central government at earlier rates. However, now there will be a negotiation on the new rates.
Talking about supplies to private hospitals, Poonawala said that the company would start signing contracts within a few weeks. He expects to complete the contract by the third or fourth week of May. He also clarified that Kovild’s production would not be affected by the shortage of raw materials from the US. In an earlier tweet, the CEO urged the US government to lift its ban on raw materials, so that vaccine production could accelerate.
The launch of Covovax, SII, has another vaccine currently under production, if the quality is met, it can be advanced for up to two months. Covovax was initially supposed to be out by September of this year. He also mentions that he has started stocking Kovox.
Poonawala claimed that the vaccine shortage would end in the next 2-3 months. They are expected to produce 100 million doses a month by July.
Poonawala has also said that vaccine distribution to India is being given priority. All facilities for the manufacture of the vaccine have been redirected and all other non-vaccine products have been discarded. The CEO also commented that opening up pricing controls for vaccines is the need of the hour, as most foreign manufacturers demand freedom of pricing to come to India.