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Government asks Indian vaccine manufacturers to reduce the price of COVID vaccines

The third phase of coronavirus vaccination drive is expected to begin from May 1, 2021, where citizens above 18 years can receive the vaccines. However, the states will have to now buy the same directly from the pharmaceutical companies.

Government asks Indian vaccine manufacturers to reduce the price of COVID vaccines
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Vaccine manufacturers in India recently announced the revised cost of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines, which the citizens and the state have not appreciated, since they are being priced way higher than expected. Keeping this in mind, the central government, on April 26, 2021, officially demanded that vaccine manufacturers reduce vaccine prices keeping the COVID-19 second wave in mind. 

Officials from the government have reached out to Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII), two Indian vaccine manufacturers, to ensure availability and affordability of vaccines in the country. Concerned authorities have been asked by the central government to expedite the manufacturing in India. Information regarding the same was given to the PTI by senior official.

Currently, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and SII's Covishield vaccines are being distributed in the country. However, after the central government announced the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive, the companies revised the rates as per the instructions, basis which Covaxin will be given at INR 600 to the state and at INR 1,200 to private hospitals. On the other hand, Covishield will be given at INR 150 to the central government, INR 400 to the states and INR 600 to private hospitals.

Questions are now being raised on the rise in prices, and the significant difference in the pricing for the Centre and the states. Officials from the state government have also asked the reason behind increasing the cost for the state government run hospitals. Some have even noticed that the vaccines have been made available at low cost for other countries, and have claimed that despite being manufactured in India, that the price of vaccines is high in the country.

The third phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive is expected to begin from May 1, 2021, where citizens above 18 years can receive the vaccines. Keeping this in mind, the states will need a large number of vaccines and will have to buy the same directly from the respective companies. It is said that there is not enough supply of vaccines from the Center.

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