New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced that it has decided to reduce its price for its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covaxin' for the state governments. Noting that it is concerned over the 'critical pandemic situation' in the country, it said that Covaxin's price has now been reduced to Rs 400 for a dose from Rs 600.

This comes a day after the Serum Institute of India (SII) reduced the rate of its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose for state governments as a "philanthropic gesture". 

"We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing which was determined by internally funded product development, several operationally-intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities (the first of its kind in our country) and clinical trials," the Bharat Biotech said.

"We wish to champion 'innovation in India' and our commitment to public health is absolute!," it added.

A huge controversy had erupted across the country after the two manufactures -- Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute -- declared the prices of their vaccines for state governments. The states, especially Delhi and Maharashtra, had urged the manufactures to cut the rates, noting that it is not the time to make profits.

Meanwhile, the third phase of vaccination drive that includes inoculating those in the age group of 18 to 44 years will begin across the country from May 1. The central government has said that beneficiaries can register themselves for phase 3 of the inoculation drive through the Aarogya Setu app and CoWIN portal.

However, ahead of the beginning of phase 3, several states, including Delhi, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, have claimed that there is a shortage of vaccines, asking the Centre to send more doses. In Delhi and Mumbai, the officials have also hinted that phase 3 of the vaccination drive will unlikely begin from May 1 due to the shortage of jabs.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma