'Have to ensure sustainability': Serum on pricing Covishield at Rs 600/dose

The price of the vaccine is still lower than a lot of other medical treatment and essentials required to treat Covid-19 and other life-threatening diseases, says Serum
Serum Institute of India cleared the air on concerns expressed over the supposedly high market price for its Covishield vaccine, saying the comparison being done between global prices of the coronavirus vaccine with India is inaccurate.

Serum, which produces the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at its Pune facility, said that initial prices were kept very low globally as it was based on advance funding given by some countries for vaccine manufacturing.

"The initial supply price of Covishield for all government immunisation programme, inculding India has been the lowest," the company has said on Saturday.

Serum said it would price its vaccine Covishield at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals as India opens up Covid-19 vaccinations for all citizens over 18 from May 1. Serum charges the central government Rs 150 per dose for the existing supplies.

Addressing the ongoing public scepticism towards the pricing of Covishield, the company said in light of the current dire situation it has to ensure sustainability and must be able to invest in scaling up and expanding the production capacity.

"Only a limited proportion of Serum's volume will be sold to private hospitals at Rs 600 per dose. The price of the vaccine is still far lower than other medical treatments and essentials required to treat coronavirus infection and other life-threatening diseases," the company said in a statement.

"Covisheld is the most affordable vaccine against coronavirus available in the market today," it said.

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