Government to procure 66 crore doses of Covishield, COVAXIN
The Centre has placed an order to procure 66 crore doses of Covishield and COVAXIN to be supplied between August and December this year, at a revised price of Rs. 205 and Rs. 215 per dose, respectively, excluding taxes, official sources said. They said 37.5 crore of Covishield doses from SII and 28.5 crore COVAXIN doses from Bharat Biotech will be procured by December.
Price revision was being hinted at after new vaccine policy
The price of each dose of Covishield amounts to Rs. 215.25 and COVAXIN Rs. 225.75, including taxes. The Union Health Ministry which was procuring both the vaccines at Rs. 150 per dose, had indicated the price revision after the new COVID-19 vaccine procurement policy came into effect on June 21. Under the new policy, the ministry will procure 75 percent of the vaccines.
Firms had indicated inability to scale-up production at current prices
While the Centre has asked to scale up the production, the manufacturers had indicated that getting Rs. 150 per dose while making investments to ramp up the production is not viable, sources said. The Union government had earlier allowed states and private hospitals to procure 50 percent. However, after several states complained, PM Modi announced the revision of the vaccine guidelines on June 8.
Everyone over 18 is eligible for vaccine doses
Domestic vaccine manufacturers are given the option to provide 25 percent of their monthly production of vaccines to private hospitals. According to the revised guidelines which came into effect from June 21, vaccine doses provided free of cost by the Centre will be allocated to states/UTs based on population, disease burden, and the progress of vaccination, and everyone over 18 will be eligible.
Manufacturers to declare price of doses for private hospitals
Any wastage of vaccines will affect the allocation negatively. The states and UTs would aggregate the demand of private hospitals keeping in view equitable distribution between large and small private hospitals. The price of doses for private hospitals would be declared by each vaccine manufacturer. More than 41.69 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far, through all sources.
New policy ensures vaccines for smaller and remoter private hospitals
"Based on the aggregated demand, the government will facilitate the vaccine supply to the private hospitals and their payment through the National Health Authority's electronic platform. This would enable the smaller and remoter private hospitals to obtain a timely supply of vaccines," the ministry said.