As the new COVID-19 vaccination policy will come into force on June 21, the talks are underway over the renegotiation of pricing for the Central procurement, the government sources told CNBC-TV18 on Monday.
The Centre has factored in higher vaccine pricing in expenditure estimates. It has estimated the budget for vaccination at Rs 45,000 crore-Rs 50,000 crore, the sources said.
The government has spent Rs 6000 crore out of Rs 35,000 crore budget on the COVID-19 vaccination programme till now. The Centre may procure 180-190 crore doses now as 75 percent population is to be vaccinated against 50 percent earlier, the sources added.
It is believed that the procurement cost for vaccines may be revised higher than earlier Rs 150 for Centre. The cost for Centre may go up as states have paid higher rates for vaccines. After the vaccine manufacturers revised the prices, states were charged Rs 300 per dose for Covishield and Rs 400 per shot for Covaxin.
However, both the manufacturers charged Rs 150 per dose to the Centre.
The development comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Centre would buy 75 percent of doses from vaccine makers and distribute them among states for free. In his address to the nation on June 7, Modi had announced that the Centre would buy 75 percent of doses from vaccine makers, including 25 percent of the state quota. They would then be handed over to the states free of cost. The private sector was allowed to buy from the remaining 25 percent.
The Prime Minister also announced that every citizen above the age of 18 will be vaccinated for free from June 21 at the Centre and state government's vaccination centres.
The Centre has also put a cap of Rs 150 as the administration charges for the private hospitals. With the new limit, a dose of Covishield will cost Rs 780, and Rs 1410 per jab of Covaxin.
First Published: IST