New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday announced that it has decided to cut the price of its Covishield vaccine against COVID-19 by 25 per cent for state governments as a philanthropic gesture. After the reduction in price, the state governments can now procure the Covishield vaccine at Rs 300 for the third phase of the vaccination drive against COVID-19.

"As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs.400 to Rs.300 per dose, effective immediately. This will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives, SII Chairman Adar Poonawalla tweeted today. 

Earlier, the SII had announced that it will sell its Covishield vaccine at Rs 400 to state governments across the country for the third phase of India's vaccination drive beginning from May 1. The price for a single dose of Covishield vaccine for private hospitals was kept at Rs 600, while the Covishield will be sold at Rs 150 to the Central government.

The price cut comes a day after a report by news agency PTI, quoting official government sources, stated that the Centre has asked Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to lower the price of their COVID-19 vaccines currently used in India amid criticism from various states who accused the companies of profiteering during such a major crisis.

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 and at Rs 150 per dose for the Central government.

The Centre, earlier this month, relaxed its vaccination strategy in the third phase under which the country's large 18-plus population will get inoculated from May 1. Under the new strategy, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan