Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday said that the price of Covishield vaccine for both the Centre and state governments will be Rs 400 per dose. He said that the company was losing money by selling the vaccine for Rs 150 per dose, as per the Central government's mandated price.
Poonawalla clarified that any fresh contracts for vaccine supplies will be negotiated at the new price. He said that the contract for 110 million doses was entered into a month ago and the supply has started for this order.
"We are losing money at the central government's mandated price of Rs 150 per dose. We have to pay 50 percent of the price to AstraZeneca as royalty," Poonawalla said.
Earlier in the day, the SII said that the Covishield vaccine will cost Rs 600 per dose for the private market.
Poonawalla added that there should not be an issue with the new pricing. "I don't see why there should be an issue as the price will be different from any previous government contract. We never want to take advantage of the pandemic," he said.
Poonawalla claimed that 100 million doses will be ready by July end, out of which 50 percent will be given to the Central government and the rest to the private sector and the state governments. He said that the shortage of vaccines will be addressed in 2-3 months.
He said the signing of contracts with private hospitals will start in a couple of weeks and the supply by the third or fourth week of May.
According to the government data, Covishield, from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable, comprises over 90 percent of the 12.76 crore COVID-19 vaccines administered across the country so far. Of this, 15 states and union territories have only given Covishield. The other vaccine being administered in India is the indigenous Covaxin from Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad.