Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech on Saturday slashed the prices of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines for private hospitals to ₹225 per dose.
At present, each dose of Covishield costs ₹600 at private hospitals, while Covaxin costs ₹1,200.
The move comes a day before the Centre rolls out precautionary doses of COVID-19 vaccines to all adults.
On Saturday the Union health ministry issued guidelines to all states that private vaccination centres can charge a maximum of ₹150 per dose as service charge over and above the cost of the vaccines. “Private vaccination centres must declare the price per dose chargeable by them on Co-WIN, in accordance with the prices declared by the manufacturers,” the ministry said.
The announcement by Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech came hours before the two vaccine manufacturers held a consultation meeting with the central government.
“We are pleased to announce that after discussion with the Central government, the SII has decided to revise the price of COVISHIELD vaccine for private hospitals from ₹600 to ₹225 per dose,” SII chief executive Adar Poonawalla tweeted.
Poonawalla also commended the government’s decision to open booster dose vaccination to all adults.
Bharat Biotech joint managing director Suchitra Ella said: “We have decided to revise the price of Covaxin from ₹1,200 to ₹225 per dose for private hospitals.”
India will continue to follow homologous vaccination for booster schedules.
“Administration of precaution dose will be homologous i.e. same vaccine type will be used for precaution dose which was used for vaccination of 1st and 2nd dose,” the health ministry has said.
This means that a beneficiary who has received two doses of Covishield will have to take Covishield as the third dose. Similarly, those who received two doses of Covaxin will have to take Covaxin as the precautionary dose.