Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, has issued a statement to address the controversy created by opposition parties and ‘liberal’ intellectuals alike over the pricing of Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine. Poonawalla said that the statement was issued in the spirit of transparency.
Adar Poonawalla said, “Government procurement for countrywide immunization programs in all countries including India has been at a far lower price as the volumes are very large. For instance, based on the market conditions, prices of many vaccines in the private market including our pneumococcal vaccine are sold at a higher free-economy price, whereas for the government it is almost 1/3rd of the free market price.”
“COVISHIELD is the most affordable COVID-19 vaccine available in the market today. The initial prices were kept very low globally as it was based on advance funding given by those countries for at-risk vaccine manufacturing. The initial supply price Of COVISHIELD for all government immunization programme, including India, has been the lowest,” he said.
Adar Poonawalla stated further, “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.”
Opposition parties have been crying foul over the price of vaccines which has been pegged at Rs. 400 per dose for state governments. The price is the same for the central government as well which will be applicable after the initial 110 million doses have been provided.
It has been falsely claimed that there is a difference between the cost of vaccines for state governments and the central government. The price has been fixed at Rs. 600 for private hospitals. They were earlier selling the vaccines at a lower price while incurring losses in the process.