The confusion over the price of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine in private hospitals is making headlines.
In regard to this, the NITI Aayog has promulgated a price range of Rs. 300 to Rs. 500 for two India made vaccines.
In the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive, the two Indian made vaccines would be available for important emergency use.
The vaccines would be given on a priority group at private facilities
However, the Union Health Ministry is yet to take a final call on the proposition.
The proposed price has been announced after a five hour long meeting held between Dr. V.K. Paul, member (health) of NITI Aayog and officials from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech International Private Limited. The meeting was held on the evening of the 26th of February. The hours long meeting over availability of COVID-19 vaccines in private hospitals concluded at 11:00 P.M.
A top official who was a part of the meeting who wished to be anonymous said, “This would be the price end user would pay for a dose. It includes the service charge the private facilities can take from the beneficiaries.” The official further said, “One would not be allowed to choose among the two vaccines. However, they can indirectly go for their preference by selecting the centre they wish to be inoculated since the information of centres along with the vaccines they use will be available to the public.”
According to sources, private facilities would be able to collect a “service charge” of up to Rs. 100 from the beneficiaries to meet the operational expenses.
The service charge cost would be added to the price of COVID-19 vaccines. The two vaccines which are being given to the people are the Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactured Covishield and the Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech International Private Limited manufactured COVAXIN
In addition, the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive would begin from the 1st of March. In the next phase, 27 crores are likely to get doses of COVID-19.
As per reports, the Government is receiving SII’s Covishield for around Rs. 210 per dose while the cost of COVAXIN is around Rs. 290 for a shot.
In the next phase, people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres would get the doses. In addition, in the next phase, the Central Government decided that the people would be vaccinated free of cost at the government hospitals, while those taking the shots at private hospitals might need to pay.
Meanwhile, till date, India has 1,10,79,979 COVID-19 cases, of which 1,07,63,451 are recovered/discharged cases, 1,59,590 are active cases and 1,56,938 are deceased cases.
The updated figure is available on the official website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW.)
As per the MoHFW, India has 1.44 % active case load, 97.14 % recovery rate and 1.42 % fatality rate.